Jana Berger's Story
I had the idea to make something sparkle for the guest and most important for setting up sparkle moments was preparation prior to Covid and lockdowns. I would buy a present, add a personal note and send it to the guest’s room. I could find out what they might like by talking to them but after a while, as it got more and more busy, I didn’t have time to go out to buy things.
Anyone can do a sparkle at any time, it is a team effort. You should be able to do a minimum of two sparkles a week – we are way over our target! Housekeeping can arrange something for a honeymoon couple or someone’s birthday, they can prepare a table nicely and set it up so that the guest has a good time. We do around 50 a month. As soon as you talk to a guest for a while, you can find an opportunity to sparkle them. When there were only a few staff and a few guests, it was easy to do, like a trial run, but now with high occupancies, the challenge is to keep it going.
There is a GMs’ call monthly and we did a presentation on how we do sparkles in the hotel, to encourage other hotels as well as provide best practices. A couple of months ago we put tepee tents and balls in the bathtub in family rooms. Our Director of Business Development created a treasure hunt throughout the hotel for kids. In the end of the treasure hunt kids receive a password to bring to reception to get a present and learn about the history of the hotel; we used to be a post office.
To someone who is newly in the sector, see everything from the guest’s point of view. Each hotel has an identity – at Sofitel Munich we are working it out; it does cost a lot but guests who receive a sparkle leave with a good impression.
If you have the right personality and love to talk to guests, to communicate and to make the experience special, the hotel business is the right place for you; especially Accor, with the sparkles that we do. I have been in hospitality for 17 years and I nearly did not join the industry. Immediately after school, I was an au pair in London for six months and then I had an apprenticeship in the hotel business – that was definitely my best decision!
- Jana Berger
- Director of Front Office
- Sofitel Munich Bayerpost (Germany)