🍍Creating value through culture

Plus: Jessica Mellor's reminder for us

Today we’re looking at:

  • How a Google executive-turned hospitality investor thinks about providing exceptional experiences through team culture

  • A reminder from The Star Gold Coast’s Chief Operating Officer

Creating value through culture

I’ve always been fascinated about the money behind exceptional hospitality experiences. Sure, great design and unique amenities are cool - but what’s the business case? How do you get the capital to fund these?

To better understand this, I spoke with my friend Benjamin Habbel, who founded Limestone Capital. He’s an interesting guy, starting his career as chief of staff at Google before forming an ecommerce company in hospitality and working with hundreds of hotel groups around the globe.

Knowing that affluent millennials are going to be the highest spending group of travelers over the next 10-20 years, he believed the hospitality companies that would best capitalize on this opportunity needed to be built differently. He’s approaching this many different ways as an investor, and one thing that stood out to me was how he thinks about culture on property.

“We don’t think of our team as hotel staff that just have stiffly defined tasks like a waiter or a bartender. We are training people to be generalist hosts and we encourage them to think of the property as their own home – from checking in a guest and serving coffee to scheduling experiences.”

The goal is that the guest sees this and feels like they’re visiting the home of a good friend, even though they’re on the property for the first time.

“This creates a truly exceptional experience that many brands with all the money in the world struggle to do.”

“We’re not curing cancer - we’re here to help people have a good time”

At the Future Leaders Forum in Australia last week, Jessica Mellor, COO of The Star Gold Coast, shared a reminder from her perspective on a career in hospitality:

“We’re not solving world hunger, we’re not curing cancer, we’re helping people have a great time. It’s really important to acknowledge that we’re not doing those really heavy tasks, so that we keep it fun and don’t sweat the small stuff.”

I love that. The world is going through a lot right now. The opportunity in hospitality is to keep it fun for both staff and guests and make each day a bit brighter.