Paris, November 25 2021
INTERVIEW | Warm greetings from Paris! Find out how Area Manager Anne Catherine Waelterle runs a successful integrated hospitality business at citizenM and Yotel in Paris. With her passion for hospitality, she makes sure that the cleaning, linen, and maintenance runs smoothly. "Facility management for hospitality is not very common in France. In Paris, a little less, but it is the old way of running a hotel in the rest of France. So, I believe that there are a lot of opportunities for us," Anne Catherine says. An Area Manager that thrives on helping others. She works for HFC for two years now and describes herself ass polyvalent, service-oriented and a great listener. She lives in France with her boyfriend and son. One of her books at her bedside at the moment is Sister Fidelma by Peter Tremayne. Her morning ritual includes waking up slowly, clean up the house, put on makeup and straightening her hair.
Having a career in many layers of a hotel, what are your thoughts about excellent hotel service?
Ten years ago, it was the product that matters. Initially, we were looking for having a bell boy, a receptionist and valid parking. But when people travel a lot, they are bothered by those services. What they are looking for is somebody that listens. It is about a welcome experience. The industry is changing, people are changing, and luxury is not a product anymore.
What are your key elements for running a successful integrated hospitality business?
Listening to our guests, partners, and the market is one of the most critical elements to succeed. But to be successful, we focus on managing our front- and back office very well. I have learned that a hotel can have many guests and turnover, but that does not make you successful. If you do not work on your back office, you will lose a lot of money. I am aware of new technology and solutions. Spending time on training and the latest design is the key to run our company efficiently.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role?
I think when our clients or suppliers say that you helped and supported them. We have the situation so often that people say thank you for being here and handling the situation.
What do you find the most challenging in your work?
Being everywhere. My mission is to make every partner feel special like they are the only one while running many projects simultaneously. This I find very interesting about HFC. I have different situations to handle in one day. I never know how my workday will be, and that is great!
It seems like a challenging job, and it takes a lot of creativity as well. What keeps you relaxed?
Nature inspires me to stay calm. I love hiking and discovering France nature. I can spend all seasons there. Hiking and mountain climbing is my favorite. Nature tells me not to resist change. For example, when skiing, the snow can be tricky and challenging. But I need to reach the finish. And in my work, it teaches me how to adapt and be flexible. Not to be against the change, it will not work.
If you imagine your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?
Stop doubting. When I was in hospitality, I was not sure if I was in the right industry. I was not sure about making the right choices. I always had doubts. From now I understand that if you are confident, it is going to be OK.
Do you have a motto?
You have people that are made for something and have the talent for that. But I believe: when I work hard, nothing is impossible. I see this also in my team. We are training people who do not know how to read and how to write. And I am always coaching them. Yes, it will be, though. But if you work hard, it will work. We now have a housekeeping manager girl who couldn't read or write, and we have one more in training who cannot hold a pen. Even if you are not designed for it, it will work if you work harder than somebody else.
How do you define success?
For me, success is not lean to your environment. It is not having something. It's not somebody, it's just your goal that you want to achieve, and if you reach it, you're your
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