I would like to dedicate this article to Victor van der Knaap, a dear friend who inspired me and from whom I learned a lot.
,,Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten” is the slogan of the brand Gucci. It pops up in front of me on a Google search a few days ago, while I was searching for something else. I find this slogan very inspirational. So, I started to wonder if the so-called high standards brands are always deliver what they are promising. Are their products and services worth for the money? I am not wondering only about the fashion industry, but about the famous brands in general, especially in hospitality that is my subject here.
Well, the good thing about it is that standards exist. Nowadays we are able to search on the internet for countless reviews of the products and services that brands are delivering, and we can shape our own point of view without even trying the product or service.
Of course each one of us has different standards. For example my boyfriend may find the lunch I cooked for him excellent. But if I serve the very same lunch to Joël Robuchon, widely known as the ‘Chef of the Century,’ who is currently decorated with 28 Michelin stars, he may find my lunch a piece of shit.
So, is this whole subject related to the target audience? If we are referring to the audience with high expectations and we charge a lot for our products and our services, we have to deliver high quality so we can meet those high expectations, right? My opinion is that we should always strive to deliver the best we can, no matter of our audience and no matter of how much we are charging.
I like to watch sometimes the Kitchen Nightmares, an American reality show on the Fox network, in which chef Gordon Ramsay is invited by the owners to spend a week with a failing restaurant in an attempt to revive their business. Usually in the first place all of them claim that their food is extraordinary, until chef Ramsay prove that they are wrong and that their food is garbage, not good enough even to be served to dogs.
But why they think their food is great then? Because this is what they know, they don’t know any better than this. Then chef Ramsay instructs them how to prepare and present high quality, great and simple dishes to their customers. In the end they are so happy and grateful because he taught them how to become better and more efficient in his very unique way. The restaurants are full of happy guests again. Their business is usually revived if they continue to follow chef Ramsay’s instructions and advice.
So my advice is if you don’t know how, then ask somebody who does, learn, work, do your best until you manage to reach the highest standards as possible. Remember that your success depends on how happy your customers are. Your success depends of the quality of your product or services you are providing and selling.
I worked for a while as housekeeping manager in a 3 star hotel at the great location in Amsterdam, not for the hotel directly, but for an outsource, very famous, cleaning company. We just signed in for the project so my operational manager and me went to the scheduled meeting with the general manager of the hotel. On this meeting the general manager set the high expectations for the services that we were going to deliver. He explained us all about the brand standards and he set some goals, more precisely the quality scores that we were expected to reach in the certain period of time. After the meeting my operational manager was quite upset. She said to me: ”What is this man imagining? He believes that he is a five-star perhaps the luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton manager. The expectations he set are so unrealistic.” I couldn’t openly disagree with my boss at the time, I just got the job, but I did disagree with her opinion for sure. Certainly the general manager was absolutely right and I totally agreed with him. It does not matter how much your guests are paying for their accommodation. It does not matter if your guests are paying a €100 or €10 000 per night, your job is always to do your very best and to deliver the highest quality possible, and to enjoy and have fun while doing this as well. If all hospitality managers had the same approach today’s hospitality would be more effective.
After analyzing and thinking about it for a while, I can personally and responsibly say, yes, I totally agree with the Gucci slogan:
Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.
What about you?