“I see folks around me in the hotel industry, and they’re bouncing between jobs.… When we are bringing on this staff, it’s important to show them there is this upward mobility and there is a reason you should be here for more than two years,” he said. “I think that’s important and maybe this whole jumping around between jobs is getting a bad rap about loyalty.”
Front-desk associate or freestyle rapper? The two need not be mutually exclusive—particularly as operators seek “rock stars” to provide a more authentic level of service to guests who increasingly want that real experience.
Who better to know about what millennial guests, in particular, want than hoteliers who belong to that generation?
“I always harp on with my corporate staff, I want people at the front desk who have a rock-star personality,” said Ravi Patel, the 29-year-old president of Hawkeye Hotels.
He has just that in Del, a front-desk associate at one of Hawkeye’s hotels who dabbles in freestyle rap on his off days. Working alongside Del is another double-duty performer who spends part of his time as a bartender.
“These guys know exactly what it is to be really engaged with your audience,” Patel said. “So now whenever I see the surveys come in from that hotel, it literally names off, ‘Oh yeah, I talked to Del, and he told me what he does in Des Moines.’ It’s really capturing a different kind of associate as well and getting them to work for you.”
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