As everyone already knows, the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit industries for more than a year.
As more and more people are starting to travel, is it all good? As this is just one part of the larger equation.
With so many Resorts and Boutique Hotels short staffed; and with those who are working spread so thin; it has become more challenging than ever, for those who are continuing to work hard and to put their best foot forward; while still smiling and being kind; to feel genuinely appreciated and valued.
Having worked with large Resort brands, as well as small Boutique Hotels worldwide for 20 plus years, the hospitality industry has been fortunate enough to attract employees who are amazing and friendly people with awesome personalities. Heck, I used to say for many years, "no one in HR( Human Resources) at a Resort/Boutique Hotel, will ever hire anyone who is not a 'people person' and who is not all about loving what they do, and having a good attitude. No 'complainers' or 'Debbie Downers' would ever even be a candidate for even a second interview."
Are things now changing so drastically within a "people person" industry?
I guess only time will tell...
While hospitality is still a "people" industry; with all the technology, so much corporate greed (a segment of the industry that only seems to care about bottom line dollars), along with a fast growing "robot" culture, I do wonder if these things are breeding something that potentially may not be best overall. When guests are traveling, they still want to interact with friendly people, and engage with those who provide great customer service, warmth, and hospitality.
Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) more and more "people-people" are leaving the industry to do other things, so I do believe it is imperative to give kudos to those who are sticking with it, and have been for many months upon months. These people are so inspirational, as to how people in the hospitality arena do survive, and even thrive in "tough times" and are no doubt assets to the brands/owners that they work for.
Myself, having had my own struggles and challenges, navigating these times; what has made it that much easier, was having those who were supportive, made me laugh, sent me kind emails of appreciation, and were great examples to me, that genuine, sensitive, hard working people do exist, and for that they need to be applauded. I call them "Hospitality Heroes."
If it were not for the "Hospitality Heroes"... I am not sure where the industry would be right now.
In my opinion, every industry needs "heroes", those who do small things in large ways to support and encourage others. We can all learn and grow as individuals and teams, if we are aware of the good people that we come in contact with.
Here is a shout out to those who have made such an impact on me and continue to inspire me, in the ways that they have navigated these times. Immense gratitude to:
Rick Konsavage (Managing Director of Resort and Club, Longboat Key Club, FL)
Steve Updike (VP Food & Beverage, OP Hotel brand, Delray Beach, FL)
Veronica Martinez (Hotel Bel Air Boutique/Dorchester Brand, CA)
Luis Tello (Assistance Director of Purchasing, The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows & Hotel, Bel Air/Dorchester Brand, CA)
Ana Marie Viditchi (Executive Director of Retail Merchandising, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas, NV)
Zack Zalenski (Director of Purchasing, Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia at Comcast Center)
Zack Moghaddam (Security & Parking Operations Manager, Balboa Bay Resort & Club, Newport Beach Country Club, CA)
Ryan Shulman (Spa Director/Director of Healing Arts, Bishops Lodge, Sante Fe, Auberge Resort Brand, New Mexico)
Kathy Anton Galietti (Director of Hospitality, Coeur d' Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Idaho)
Deirdre Strunk (Vice President Spa Fitness Beauty, Canyon Ranch)
Bob Jensch (General Manager, Hilton Lake, Las Vegas Resort & Spa)
A few words of wisdom shared from some of these amazing people:
Steve Updike (VP Food & Beverage, OP Hotels):
“Surround yourself with smart, passionate, like-minded people; Provide them with the tools, the guidance, and thank them often for their hard work and successes."
Bob Jensch (GM Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa):
"My motto in work comes from my older brother who just retired after 40 years in the television biz: 'You work every day to remove obstacles that stand in the way of the success of your people'...Dave Jensch"
"Needless to say, the past 15 months have put more obstacles than we ever had dreamed of...all we can do is chip away at them one at a time and be there to support our team and take care of our guests...”
Luis Tello (Assistance Director of Purchasing, The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows & Hotel Bel Air, Dorchester Brand, CA)
"It is only worth it if you enjoy it.”
Brief interviews to follow with:
Zack Moghaddam - Security & Parking Operations Manager, Balboa Bay Resort & Club/Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, CA
Zack Zalenski - Director of Purchasing, Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia, Comcast Center
Ryan Shulman - Spa Director/Director of Healing Arts, Bishops Lodge, Sante Fe, Auberge Resort Brand, New Mexico
Veronica Martinez - Hotel Bel Air Boutique, Dorchester Brand, CA
Ana Marie Viditchi - Executive Director of Retail Merchandising, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas, NV
We are still a world of people, and the more we can support, encourage, and be present for one another, the more we can thrive in an industry that has always been built on hospitality, warmth, kindness, and the appreciation of those who are "people-people."