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GM or Guest, Who Is More Important

Jun 20, 2012  By 

Evil Erik recently complained about all those guests who believe that they deserve the best service and expressed his surprise that some of them even wanted him to talk to them, as if they are more important than he is ……

He constantly reminds his F&B and FO Director to make sure complaints do no reach him, since he is too busy calculating the average revenue generated by the square meters in the lobby and thus making head office happy, not to forget improve his chances for promotion !

He feels that upon arrival guests should not be bothered by friendly welcoming platitudes, like ” Did you have a good trip ? ” and/or “Welcome to our hotel ! “

He believe that the ” passport – credit card – key card  ” system needs to be perfected and the less said, the faster one gets the guests out of the lobby and into revenue generating areas.

And although the keycard holder says ” Not just the key to your room, the key to your home “, he has ordered to lock all the mini bars in the rooms, since one can’t trust those guests and because it is also easier to restock and thus simpler to control !

And when he hears the word ” adapter ” he sees red and keeps complaining that they get stolen by the guests ( and for good measure also by the staff  ) and that he does not see why he should invest US $ 1.50 in those gadgets,  let alone install some multi- plug sockets around the working desks in his ( very comfortable ) rooms.

Therefore Erik instructed his front office to inform the guests that adapters are available in the hyper market, ” just ” 10 minutes away by foot, thus giving the guests a great opportunity to do some food shopping also, so that the mini bar can stay closed.

Evil Erik also sees it as one of his main in-house marketing strategies to make sure the guests are not too comfortable in his rooms, so he does charge an extra amount per order for room service delivery, after all that is what he observed the fast food ” boys ” doing also ………………

However when guests brave the challenges and make their way to the restaurant, they get ” What is your room number ” barked in their face, showing that the staff considers all ” intruders  in their workplace ” crooks and making 100 % sure that those evil minded persons who use their facility cannot escape without paying or, if they really want, signing the bill.

Erik also believes that having big plasma screens in the restaurant shows class and that the fashion channel being displayed is respectable and shows the patrons that the hotel understands what ” life style ” is all about.

He can’t wait to find a reason to start displaying the food channel in the restaurant and have the cursing and foul-mouthed chefs compete with own “  f…ing ” kitchen team.  He even dreams about streaming his own kitchen scenes into the rooms and the F&B outlets, of course with himself in the leading role ………….

That nobody is looking at the screens is a minor detail and requests by guests to switch to sport channels are ignored in a dignified manner.

Erik also supports the controller, the almighty power behind the scenes, making sure that accounting systems are in place to make it easy for the back office and difficult for the customers.

Moving from one restaurant to another ( for instance for being able to see the sports program … ) is frowned upon and immediate commands a signature on the bill from the one restaurant before being allowed moving to the next.

But what Erik, and his squad of managers, dislike most of all are all the complaints. Life would be so much easier without those disturbing moments in their exhausting hospitality life.

So they trained the most junior assistant manager to be the somewhat anonymous ” master of complaints ” and they always send him as ” first responder ” to endure all  the s.h.i.t of those guests.

His ” what seems to be the problem ” techniques are carefully copied from the medical world and have the same result as with patients, individuals feeling treated with contempt !

But unfortunately, some guests recognize that those suited men in black or dark blue, with that specific arrogant walking style around the hotel, are part of the hotel management, so they have perfected their service recovery technique.

They ” simply ” take one of their business cards and tell the guest to inform the staff  that they are ” a friend of Jules ” and then ” they won’t have any problems any more ……”

And when there is an absolute need to compensate, there is always the obligatory complimentary fruit plate with the apple, orange and banana !

But that then has to be delivered on the spot, and with total alacrity, and thus staff is therefore instructed to ignore ” don’t disturb ” signs, after all who do these guests think they are, to tell the GM not to bother them ?

So the Front Office team phones the room with brave disregard to time and place and orders the inhabitants to take the sign off and to open the door !

Should guests be even braver than the reception guys and girls and dare to say ” no “, they forfeit, at their own risk, the complimentary highlights offered by the GM.

Oh yes, and by the way, don’t blame us for the terrible quality of the TV pictures or for the radio programs offering total silence on all channels. These are external circumstances beyond our control and therefore the guest has to live with that, of course still paying the full room rate which includes what hotels now call  ” in room entertainment “.

Erik is also very concerned about drugs, so the housekeeping staff  keeps a good eye on dubious substances in the rooms, even coincidentally dropping them on the floor and then mixing them up, so that the guest has a hard time to know what pills to take when.

And then, upon check out finally an effort of service recovery about the adapter trouble was attempted by generously offering to rebate US $ 1,50 in order to compensate for the investment in that piece of equipment made by the guest.

Last but not least, never forget the guest comment form, smile when a guest doesn’t answer on the customary check-out question ” was everything OK ? ” and put the form in front of him while pointing out where to start the multiple choice “exam”.

Finally, upon completion, make sure the bell boy checks, in front of the guest, the responses on the form first and decides that, as long as his friends and he are not mentioned, it can be passed on to the GM’s office where it becomes part of a statistic hardly anybody looks at.

After all, Evil Erik is in his opinion the perfect GM, too bad the guests are not perfect, think differently and, idiotically, don’t come back.

But then he can always blame the marketing and sales people for not working hard enough to keep the hotel filled.

PS :

Since I am still getting some “nasty” e-mails from a person that (amazingly) believes to be the role model of Evil Erik, may I please remind my readers that in my e-Hotelier articles any resemblance of Evil Erik with any existing person(s) is purely coincidental, unintentional and bears no relationship to any living, ethical, person working in the hospitality industry.

But the described situations as well as circumstances are (more or less) authentic and often based on “real time “experiences while being a consultant for hotel owners or on coaching or training assignments in tourism destinations.

 

About Bert Van Walbeek

Bert Van Walbeek

Bert “Bow-Thai” van Walbeek has been an Hotelier for 45 years and Marketer of Tourism for 35 years, a Motivator, a Master of Disaster since 20 years and a University Lecturer for 15 years.

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