Los Angeles, June 23 2022
As there are so many new openings and developments in the US, we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to interview our Area Manager US West Coast Lindsay Harlor. Lindsay's first opening was the Seattle Pioneer Square last May. She will be supporting her colleagues for the other openings this summer and fall. Her goals include creating high-quality, clean guestrooms for the clients while making positive connections and relationships with housekeeping vendors to make sound decisions. In this interview, we highlight her entrepreneurial journey, the challenges she faces and what she enjoys the most.
You had prior roles in the hospitality business. What are your key elements to running a successful business?
I worked for ten years in Operations for Marriott International in full-service luxury hotels. Knowing your audience is more critical to hospitality than most people think. I have learned that identifying the audience's levels of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs is one of the most effective ways to deliver outstanding results. Hire people with passion and make your hotel a positive place to work.
How do you recognize that people are passionate?
Hospitality isn't for everyone. I believe that at its core, hoteliers find joy in helping others and making guests happy. In my last role as a Director of Front Office, I wanted my front desk agents to see the excitement in making a custom amenity for a guest, creating that unforgettable memory, and creating loyalty within them.
And how do you create a positive workplace?
A positive workplace is where each person is supportive and open to feedback. Knowing you can rely on the people around you are imperative for me to succeed. As a leader, I want to lead with empathy while ensuring the expectations are clear to all.
In your experience, what factors contribute to excellent customer service?
Customer service needs to be genuine and from the heart. People helping people, guests can feel when it is real. A key and long-lasting relationship is the emotional connection a guest makes with a hotel or brand. Loyal guests will come back, are forgiving, and spend more money.
What makes a hotel service the best hotel service?
It is essential to understand your customer and their needs and expectations. Once you can capture that, you can create your operational plans and objectives surrounding the core understandings. You cannot add the bells and whistles before you master the foundational needs.
What challenges have you experienced as an Area Manager during this fast-paced, fast-growing market?
I am an optimist at heart and believe that any task is achievable when people work together. I gain energy from others and love to work in a collaborative space. Each hotel in my West Coast Area has particular traits that make them unique. Learning to communicate with many diverse people is challenging, but it gives me so much power. Making connections with wonderful people allows me to reach my goals. My motto is 'What you focus on, you find'.
What are your hopes for the industry?
Growth in the USA and for me to be a leader in the organization. Hotel companies are not only heads in beds but technology companies as well. Technology will be a significant factor in a hotel's success, both customer-facing and internal for operational success.
What is the favourite part about working for HFC?
I love travelling and exploring new parts of the country while working in an industry I love! My favourite spot is Paris. It's magical. I cannot wait to go back!
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs invest their time in?
Find your market, retain the right people, and create a quality product.
Do you have personal mantra?
Success is a feeling of accomplishment and pride in your work/project.
Lindsay has been married for three years to her husband, Joey. Both graduated from Washington State University and recently bought their first home together. They have a 2-year-old French Bulldog named Oscar. Their families live nearby, so they are lucky to see them regularly! She loves to exercise and take Oscar for a walk to the dog park with friends. She and Joey love to cook at home to see if they can make it better than their favourite restaurants! When tired of cooking, they love to relax and dine out with a nice glass of wine. Fun fact that most people don't know: Lindsay has been playing golf since she was eight years old and played in competitive tournaments all through high school.
Are you interested in more information about HFC USA? Or curious about what we can do for your organization? Please contact Lindsay via firstname.lastname@example.org
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