Michel Vos interview: ‘the guest experience must be connected to the services…’

In this interview, Michel Vos shares his passion for the hotel industry and guest service/experience. In his career of 17 years in the hotel industry, he has developed himself from dishwasher to F&B manager, to General Manager and currently in the position of  HFC Area Manager for citizenM, Clink Hostels and KLM Crown Lounge. In this position, he is responsible for the integrated hospitality services with HFC partners in the Netherlands. He studied Economy & Marketing and is commercial-minded.

ABOUT – He started working in the hotel industry since he was 15 years old, so for almost half of his life he is working in hospitality. In his current position within HFC, he is on the road from partner to partner and makes approx. 60.000km a year. Michel and his wife Suzanne, have a common passion for hospitality and guest experience. They have a 2,5-year-old son and they are expecting a newborn in June. In his spare time, he loves to play soccer, Formula 1 and mountain biking.

How was onboarding at HFC?
In 2017, my former colleague Bart van Wegen told me about HFC. I got to learn more about the concept and how HFC wanted to disturb the market. At that time HFC was a start-up company, but with a lot of potentials to grow and develop. That drew my attention and fitted my ambition to join a smaller company and grow together to a larger market share.

What makes the best hotel service in your professional opinion?
First, a hotel should be all about guest experience. The experience must be connected to the services, the way of working and the mindset. It is my job to make this whole operation efficient. The combination of guest experience and efficiency makes the best hotel service.

What do you hope to see for the future?
Currently, that all our partners will survive and come out stronger out of the Covid-19 crisis. I hope we learn from this current situation, showing us that we can be more efficient and that we can grow together with our partners. For the future, f.e. in 10 years, I hope HFC is still growing with our current partners and I hope to see HFC as one of the market leaders in the hotel facility industry.

What is the most challenging part of your work?
In the beginning, it was getting used to a different way of work. In my former position as General Manager, I was used to having a direct influence on the team. Now, I work with partners and do not have direct contact with the employees of each hotel. I understand the hotel market is ongoing for years in a certain way of working. What HFC does is different, we work as a partner, not as a supplier. This approach makes a difference and benefits all the parties.

What is your favourite part about working for HFC?
That is very simple: the ambition to improve ourselves and our guest experience. By improving our guest experience, processes, quality, and workflows. We are working together with our partners, and together with the positive mentality at HFC, I have learned that the best result is being established when working as a team.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by family & friends. They show me to be ambitious, work hard and to keep an open mind. I am not perfect, nobody is, but I believe that we can achieve more when we keep open communication. That way we can keep growing on a personal as well as a professional level, and we can learn from each other.

How do you define success?
To me, success is being happy every single day. I found a good balance between work and private and enjoy the time with my family and friends after a week of hard work. Workwise I am always ambitious, to me success is defined as being my best self, moving forward and try to make the next steps.

Imagine your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?
Find your balance. It took me some years to find a good work/private balance, partly caused by my ambition when I started working in the hotel industry.

What is your favourite travel spot so far?
Miami is my all-time favourite so far. I was celebrating Christmas New Year’s Eve in Miami a few years ago. For me, Miami has it all: good vibes, an easy-going mentality, the beach, the tropical climate, and nice restaurants. I stayed at the Marriot Hotel, a nice classical hotel, but I prefer non-traditional hotels.

Tell us something we do not know yet, maybe you have a hidden talent?
I used to enjoy sim racing on a high level. For a few years, I was in the top 50 of the world. I still enjoy it, but now it is more like a hobby. Even our toddler likes to sit with me to race together already. Like father, like son.