A top maitre d’ on employing the previously incarcerated
Plus: Travelers want sustainability (if it doesn’t cost more)
Hospitality Daily is a summary of stories for busy people who want to get better each day at providing hospitality.
Today, you’ll find:
A top UK maitre d’ who is now working on transforming the lives of the incarcerated
Travelers’ desire for sustainability (until a point)
Hilton’s new ability to book connecting rooms
“Generosity is integral to hospitality”
Few people understand the role of generosity in hospitality better than Fred Sirieix, who through a seasoned career as maitre d’ in top UK restaurants has earned his stripes as an authority on customer experience.
His modus operandi is simple yet effective: he helps restaurants achieve excellence by perfecting each touchpoint in the customer journey, and always putting the customer first. “When a customer enjoys their visit, they’ll keep coming back to your restaurant,” he says. “They became loyal because they know that what they get from your restaurant is better than what they can get anywhere else. They trust you.”
But Fred’s generosity extends beyond the dining room: he’s been a driving force behind The Right Course, an initiative to transform the lives of those in prison. So far, his team has transformed staff messes at two London prisons into fully functioning training restaurants, where inmates can acquire skills as chefs, waiters and baristas.
“The Right Course has two outcomes”, says Fred. “One is that it helps prevent inmates from reoffending when they leave prison. The other is that it helps combat the labor shortage within hospitality.”
“When you’re talking about hiring somebody who just came out of prison, there’s a stigma attached to it. I think that it’s up to all of us to make a difference and to give opportunities to people, to give them chances, because if we do so, invariably they will succeed”
Travelers want sustainability (if it doesn’t cost more)
According to Amex’s global travel trends report, 68% of consumers are trying to be more aware of sustainable brands to support, and ‘sustainable intelligence’ (level of commitment, attitude, knowledge and/or behavior with regard to sustainability) is becoming a key factor for a consumer’s willingness to invest more for sustainable travel solutions.
However, another study by MMGY showed 68% of respondents would not be willing to pay more for sustainability.
Digitization could be one path towards lowering overall operating costs so the final cost for a guest isn’t higher. Contactless check in and payment options, for example, have helped some operators reduce staffing needs and expenses.
Hilton launches ability to book connecting rooms
That may not sound like a huge deal, but for hotels looking to compete with vacation rentals, this supports both families and location-independent workers who may want more space to live and work from their hotel.
The technology, Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton, is the first from a major hotel company and is available when booking on Hilton.com or through the Hilton Honors app at participating hotels within any of the portfolio’s 18 brands.
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