|by Harry Nobles, January 2000
Last month I attempted to define and describe atmosphere in a fine hotel; lets look now at steps you can take to create the atmosphere you want. I suggest that the first step should be to ensure that your door and bell staff know how important their appearance and conduct are in setting the tone.
An alert, properly attired and groomed doorman exhibiting professional posture who greets me immediately and cordially at the door or on the curb tells me a lot about what I can expect at the property. A doorman lounging with hands in pockets, and maybe chatting with a coworker tells me even more.
When conducting staff training for clients I often take doormen and bellmen to nearby hotels so they can observe their peers firsthand; this has proven very educational and very effective. Once door and bell staff truly appreciate the importance of their roles in creating a positive first impression, it is easier to instruct them in the details.
In my opinion the details begin with appearance and image. A well fitting uniform with name tag, properly worn by a neatly groomed employee creates a professional image and sends a very positive message to arriving guests. One component of appearance is location. A doorman should be outside on the curb and immediately available to serve guests, not inside peering out. This allows for prompt response to guests’ needs, another critical component of professional appearance and image.
One of my pet peeves is a doorman or bellman who casually strolls out to meet me as if unsure what to do next. I expect my first and all subsequent interactions with a hotel staff to indicate that they know what they are doing and how to do it.
When you have trained your door staff to meet the standards mentioned above, you will have reached an important milestone on your way to creating the atmosphere expected in a fine hotel. Actually you have achieved the easier part of your goal; the really difficult part is maintaining consistency by every employee every hour of every day. More about this next time.
|Also See:||What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Remaining Hospitable in an Inhospitable World / August 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Are Your Employees Checking Out As Fast As Your Guests / Setting Up an Effective Training Program / Harry Nobles / May 1999|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|