Jarek Figat's Story
I have seen many changes in the industry and in Accor in my 25 years in the industry. The design of hotels has changed, it is more is automated, and hotels fit more into their local communities; they are no longer just for visiting guests but neighbours also participate in the life of the hotel, they come to events to the restaurants.
In almost every area of the industry, we use the latest technology, which helps us give faster and better service to guests. This includes check-in and out, and customers can use their mobile phone to order food from the restaurant.
And now, Accor prioritises protection of the environment; that includes employees, who are asked to keep that in mind in their daily activities, and equally our guests. The biggest change is the evolution of the approach to guests from traditional service by the book to a spontaneous approach and personalised service to ensure guests enjoy their stay, delighting them with surprises.
I started my journey with Accor as a trainee, I moved to being a waiter and then a department manager, operations manager to general manager. These roles gave me a lot of satisfaction and development opportunities. When I was working in a restaurant, I was always interested in what was happening around me, what my colleagues were doing in the kitchen and the bar. Whenever there was an opportunity for me to work with them, I took it. I wanted to improve my skills and the service I gave to make things better for my guests.
Also, I was lucky enough to have bosses who helped me develop my career and they gave me lots of help and advice so that I chose the right path; as a result I get great joy from my work.
Accor encourages employees to get involved with the community and at the beginning of December I met a great man, Bartek, who is president of the Good Initiatives Foundation (Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw), which supports children and old people, sending them boxes of food, cosmetics and sweets at Christmas and Easter. We deliver the parcels to 10 to 15 address and stay and talk to the people who receive them. Most recently, my 15-year-old son came with me, which was lovely. It is not a great effort to do good for other people.
To someone who is newly in the sector, take advantage of every day and grab every opportunity to develop your skills. Don’t be afraid to take decisions and make mistakes – that is how you learn faster, get to know yourself and become more confident. Be patient, enjoy each of your successes, however small, and you will become the best of the best.
And to someone who is looking for work, if you like working in a team and you enjoy challenges, if you like each day to be different, and you want to discover the many ways you can work in the hospitality industry, do not be afraid, we are waiting for you!
- Jarek Figat
- General Manager
- ibis Warsaw Ostrobramska (Poland)