Monique Ubbink, Operational Manager at Hotel Facility Concepts (HFC), embodies a career rich in diverse experiences spanning from managing campgrounds to overseeing McDonald's operations. Driven by a penchant for challenges and a passion for hospitality, Monique finds herself at the helm of HFC, where she orchestrates a vision that elevates guest experiences to unparalleled heights. In this interview, Monique shares insights into her journey, her vision of hospitality, and the role she plays in shaping exceptional guest experiences at HFC.

"A 9+ guest experience depends entirely on attention." 

From school catering and banqueting to managing campgrounds and the largest inbound McDonald's in the Netherlands; Monique Ubbink's career is anything but dull. She describes herself as someone who enjoys a good challenge. As Operational Manager at Hotel Facility Concepts (HFC), she is certainly in her element. She has a clear vision of hospitality that pays off in practice. How and what? Monique would be happy to tell you herself. 

Monique, you've had an interesting career. You've managed two campgrounds, worked for McDonald's for 12 years, were responsible for catering at 32 school locations, and managed all Shell gas stations with cafes in South Netherlands. What brings you to HFC?  

"Yes, I've seen and done a lot already. Sitting still isn't for me. It sounds like a cliché, but I certainly don't shy away from challenges. I like to tackle things and simply want them to be well-organized. I like to have control, thrive in chaos, and I'm used to working against the clock. And last but not least, I love hospitality. All of this comes together at HFC. Add to that the wonderful (inter)national clients and an energetic team with the ambition to elevate hospitality to a higher level, and I feel right at home." 

Hospitality has been a recurring theme throughout your career; what is your vision on hospitality?

"Hospitality hinges on attention to people. A 9+ guest experience begins with genuine attention and interest in others. That's what makes the difference. And often, it's the little things; having a chat, asking how someone is doing, saying hello. When it comes to my interaction with 'my' people, the hospitality hosts, I really appreciate getting to know the person behind the role. When you know each other a little better, you also develop a much better relationship." 

You talk about a 9+ guest experience; what is your role as Operational Manager in this?  

"I oversee various locations, including Vattenfall's headquarters in Amsterdam, Westfield Mall in Leidschendam, Stadshart Amstelveen, and Diversey Netherlands. A 5-star guest experience is a must for these clients. That's exactly what our hospitality hosts strive for day in and day out. They can only achieve this if they enjoy their work. As Operational Manager, it's my job to ensure that the hospitality hosts can do their job well. I'm always there for my people. If they encounter any issues, we solve them together. If someone needs a listening ear, I'm there for them too. From experience, I know that when people feel comfortable with you, they are also loyal and work with pleasure. And someone who feels good and enjoys their work also radiates that on the work floor with our clients." 

What opportunities do you see in the field of hospitality? 

 "HFC has a lot of experience in the hotel industry in terms of integral facility management. Hospitality is so natural here, many companies could learn from it. There are therefore many opportunities to elevate hospitality to a higher level within the world of commercial real estate. Think, for example, of the shift from an 'old-fashioned' reception to a multifunctional and vibrant meeting space where people are not only warmly welcomed, but where there is also a coffee corner, for example. I call this hospitality plus. Hospitality and catering go hand in hand in my opinion. And with my catering background, I hope to, together with my HFC colleagues, realize this complete 'hospitality picture' for our clients." 


Ready to take your guest experience to a 9+ level? Contact John van de Bunt today on (+31) 06 479 323 48, and find out how sincere attention can transform your hospitality.