Today, we publish the interview #14 of our series of posts “Interviews in the heart of the hotel”. With these interviews, you have been able to get to know the work of many of the operations departments with whom you, as guests, are in contact every day. And all of them have a point in common: the importance they give – and they are right to do so – to the excellence in the attention and service to our guests.
Today, we would like to introduce you to someone very special for the excellent attention he gives as much to our guests as to the Hotel Princesa Yaiza team. After graduating in tourism at the Madrid European University and getting a postgraduate degree in Hospitality Management at “Les Roches” Hotel Management School in Switzerland, he dedicated all his career to the excellence of the service in our hotel.
Someone who, as Victor Hugo said, is one of these persons “that we meet, and although we barely know them they say a word, a sentence, give us a minute or half an hour of their time and change our lives forever.” A great professional, and better man: today, meet Luis Folgar, our Accomodation Director.
PRINCESA YAIZA: Good morning Luis! How long have you been working in our hotel?
LF: I have been working for 15 years at the Hotel Princesa Yaiza, and this has been my first professional experience. When I graduated at the University, I came to this hotel to do a training that enabled me to work in all the departments of this hotel: during nearly one year, I worked in the Public Relations, Reception, Housekeeping and Kitchen Department, and I held different positions within each of these departments. After this training, the hotel offered me an intermediate direction position as Duty Manager, a very interesting professional opportunity that I got thanks to this hotel. Later on, I held the position of Food & Beverages Director and then got to the position of Accomodation Director, a position I am still holding to this date.
PRINCESA YAIZA: And what does an Accomodation Director do?
LF: I am the manager of the Housekeeping, Public Relations, Reception, Fitness (externalised), and Decoration Departments, as well as of part of the Maintenance Department. Although each of these departments has a manager, I coordinate with them the staff management of their teams, cost control, the standards compliance and the audit updates that are done with the Quality Department for each of these departments. I make sure that the goals of each department is met, and that they keep in budget.
PRINCESA YAIZA: What kind of goals do the departments you coordinate have?
LF: There are external goals, such as the guests’ satisfaction, and internal goals (incomes, costs, etc.).
PRINCESA YAIZA: That means that you work with lots of people, and deals with lots of issues. What is a normal day for you?
LF: When I arrive at the office, in the morning, I begin the day by checking my emails and see if there has been any incident during the night. I check the production diaries, and if there has been any complaint from a guest. Then, I pay a visit to the different departments I coodinate, to check if there is any issue to be solved with them. The department managers have full autonomy to manage their incidents, but I sometimes have to deal with a particular incident should the solution be related with a decision to be made by the general management, or if there is a pending authorization to solve it. Afterwards, I go to the restaurant area to greet our guests, and at 11am, I attend the 30mn operation meeting that all the operation departments managers hold every day in order to organise the current working day. We check the restaurants opening times, if there is any event scheduled for the day, if some of our guests have special needs, etc. After this meeting, I go back to my office to make back-office tasks, as well as process and cost optimization studies. The aim of this work is to find a way to make sure our guests experience of the hotel is optimum.
PRINCESA YAIZA: How can you increase the guest’s level of satisfaction of their stay?
LF: By analysing the complaints we receive in order to take the relevant measures to make sure they are satisfied. These complaints give us indications of the direction we should take to be better.
PRINCESA YAIZA: What do you like most about your job?
LF: I believe that we, the people who work in the hospitality industry, have the nicest job of the world, because our work is about making people happy. And this is something that satisfies me deeply, this is what I really like about my job. The hotel gives you the opportunity to get to know very interesting people, and what is nice about it is that these people become part of the Hotel Princesa Yaiza family over the years.