The Four Seasons Goes to Paris

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HBS | The Four Seasons Goes to Paris


a) Description of company in general terms

Isadore Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960. Four Seasons is a Canadian international luxury hotel company. The first Four Seasons hotel opened in 1961 in Toronto, Canada. The 1970s began with a defining moment, the opening of a hotel in London. This hotel set the future of the company and pioneered many of the signature Four Seasons services, now delivered worldwide. In 1976, the company entered the US market with its first management contract for San Francisco’s 1913 landmark hotel, The Clift. In 1999, Four Seasons opened its first French property, the Hotel George V in Paris. In 2003, the company managed 53 properties in 24
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Their standards are universal, for example, getting message on time, clean room, good breakfast; being cared for by an engaging, anticipating and responding staff, etc. what changes is that employees do it with their own style. An Italian concierge has his own style and flair. In Turkey and Egypt you experience different hospitality. Each hotel is adapted to its national environment. They try to make each property represent its location. “Four Seasons has done an exceptional job adapting to local markets. From a design perspective they are much more clever than other companies. When you sit in the Four Seasons in Bali, you feel that you are in Bali. It does not scream ‘Four Seasons’ at you”, said David Richey, president of Richey International, a firm hired by Four Seasons to audit service quality.

The seven Four Seasons “service culture standards” expected of all staff and all over the world at all times are playing a role in Four Seasons’ success. The first is the smile. Employees actively greet guests, smile and speak clearly in a friendly manner. The second is the eye contact, even in passing with an acknowledgement. The third is the sense of recognition by using the guest’s name, when known in a natural and discreet manner. The fourth is the voice. Staff will speak to guests in a courteous manner, avoiding pretention and in a clear voice. The fifth is informed. Staff will be well informed about their hotel and the products and services they

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