One is never sure if Corporate Executives dream up ‘brand standards’ because consistency is the key to their brand differentiation and promise, or if they just don’t trust front line employees. The word empowerment is bandied about by every hotel management company out there but many don’t trust the waiter to drop the breakfast check at the appropriate time. Where is the bar? How low is the common denominator?
Next time you are having a leisurely breakfast at a corporate transient upper/upscale, don’t blame the otherwise charming and competent waiter for dropping the check the minute your eggs appear, it is the sacred ‘standard’ that has come down from the mountain, he has no room for a judgement call.
Having your name bellowed across the lobby three times before you are checked in is another rigid concept that is often imposed from above. One time I had Bill Gates arriving late in the evening. Even though he had been pre-keyed I thought it appropriate to greet him. Forget using his name, forget brand standards for VIP’s. He jumped out of a black SUV with a driver/bodyguard who looked like he had been trained by some agency in Langley or Tel Aviv. As I approached the ninja sidekick gave me a killer stare that froze me in my tracks. I backed off and smiled as they went straight to the elevator. In the morning my staff had a call that Mr Gates would be leaving at a particular time and requested ‘no goodbyes’.
So what is the moral? If you are a billionaire and stay in a luxury hotel you do not have to suffer through the brand standards imposed by someone miles away from any front desk. I appreciate when someone uses my name but please don’t keep count and don’t worry I will let you know when I need the check - my guest and I are not finished yet.