Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hotels-Restaurants. Another Dimension

I worked for many years in the hotel industry

Now, if you have never stepped a foot behind the doors past the cash register, or past the kitchen where your food is being prepared, then read on, otherwise if you have or are currently working for any of our "fine" hotels and restaurants across America, you may also read on for a good chuckle.

I will make this into a series, because there is so much to cover. Like a classroom, I will start by covering and discussing some topics of interest; management styles, Employees, Managers, Upper Management, Personalities, Interactions, etc.

If you have anecdotes of your own, pass them on.


Hotels are like an apple. On the outside they are of many colors and sizes and on the inside, they are mostly the same with a few variations. When you look at any hotel, whether a five star or something with fewer shining stars, you are looking at an ever changing entity. First thing, or person you encounter when you get to your hotel is the door man (If the hotel has one, otherwise you get to open the front doors on your own, no matter how heavy or how many bags you have)
They come in many sizes and shapes and depending on the location of the hotel. Some of them might as well be models posing and ready for their shots. Others are like fixtures of the building itself, stone cold and old. There are plenty of others in between.
The Worst kind of doormen are the ones that are too good for the job they are doing, However, they love to open doors and jump at the driver's door of any car that looks as though is driven by God himself. I think they expect a tip in the form of stocks or a personal check by the way they drool over the driver and his or her passengers. While all this is going on, there are other cars waiting their turned at being parked or retrieved. If you are driving anything that is older than four or five years old, or when you bought it, seat belts where not mandatory, then you are in for a rude awakening.
You will wait and wait. Until the door man-or valet in some cases, is done parking "Mercury's Chariot"-Horses and all. Then you will get a glance thrown at you. At this time you are supposed to get a greeting that sounds something like, "Good Afternoon Sir, Welcome to Heaven, Checking in?...May I get your bags from the trunk?," When you finally wake up from blinking, it is someone who tells you where the "public Parking" is, or just tells you to leave the keys in the car and he will be right with you. When he or she finally gets back to you, the conversation goes something like this.
Valet-Doorman-"Name please" while he or she proceeds to write your name on the ticket (Most of the times, misspelled)
You-"Dr. Smith, and Make sure you write Dr. On the ticket"
Valet-Doorman-"Sure, sir" (All the while thinking, "You pompous ass")
You-"Can you get my bags from the trunk?"
Valet -Doorman-"I will let the Valet know, please leave your car there with the keys in it."
Then he walks away, while somewhere around the door area, there are people that look like "Valet people" just waiting for you to walk away from your car so they can get in it and drive off" Hopefully they work for the hotel.
This is not an extreme thought. It happens. Employees are continuously trained by management to greet you with pleasantries and make sure that all your questions and inquiries are answered as they walk you through the doors and into the front desk of the hotel. However, most of the time, because of staffing issues; someone called out, two others just got a job at a hotter hotel so they did not bother to show up, or simply they partied too much the night before so they "Could not make it"
Some other times, they just do not care who you are or what you are doing there, but you are just in their way of looking good. This includes management as well. If they are expecting a VIP- you will have to walk a few extra steps, bags and all, because the front area is blocked because they are "expecting" Brittney Spears or someone that looks and acts just like her"-Even though it may be hours before their arrival.
There are plenty of hard working individuals that do this for a living and take it seriously. Those are the ones that will follow not just the hotel's policies and training, but go beyond to make you feel welcome. You will recognize them as you drive up into the driveway of any hotel. Even before the car comes to a complete stop, they already have your bags on their shoulders. How they managed that, You don't know. Those are the people that know they will get a guaranteed tip and do not care how much they get. Because they are there to take care of you as a guest. They are rare nowadays. If you see one, take care of them and you car will not be messed with.
Unfortunately for most people most of these type of employees are found at 5 star-High end, resorts (Or Spa's) Ther average rates are over $300.00 dollars per night. That is for a basic room, most have great amenities included (For that price they should). Places like; Post Ranch Inn (CA), Four Seasons or Ritz properties, Bellagio here in Vegas. Do a search on the net (Five star hotels) and you will see what I'm talking about. AGain, there are exceptions and every now and then you get lucky.

1 comment:

Maganda said...

Hey you! Are you from Vegas too?