Meet Michelle, part of the Front Office team at one of our Comfort Hotels. She has worked at Strawberry since September 2021 but has no prior experience of the hotel industry. She encourages service-minded people who relish the idea of a varied working day to go ahead and apply for a Front Office job.
What attracted you to the hospitality industry?
When my partner and I moved to a new city, I just happened to see an ad on a job site. I liked the wording of the ad. It spoke to me! It said something like “Do you like throwing glitter on people?” and I immediately felt “WOW! I have to go for this!”. And that’s exactly what I did!
Tell us about a normal day at work!
When I arrive, I have a look at the daily checklist of what needs to be done that day. Then I go through the handover document from the night shift to see what’s been going on. I also go through my inbox and assist guests with any queries they may have. That could be recommending a good restaurant or booking a taxi.
During the day, I’m in touch with a lot of different departments, such as facility services for a broken lamp or housekeeping for extra beds. The front desk really is the control hub for everything here at the hotel. It’s where the guests come for assistance.
Any tips for those interested in a Front Office role?
One requirement is that you have to love multitasking. And you should enjoy going the extra mile for our guests. It’s the little things that count to make them feel special. Last, but by no means least, you should enjoy interacting with people and seek to make our guests have a really memorable stay.
Have you encountered any prejudice about the role?
Yes, sometimes people say that I just “stand there” not doing much. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! You’re never bored, because you’re right in the middle of all the action. It’s an easy job in some ways, but it’s also very challenging at times.
“You really get to be yourself here. It’s a high pace environment and you grow as a person as well as in your professional role.”
What do you think is the best thing about working at Strawberry?
It’s a very open-minded company. People are free to be themselves and you can carry out your work as best you see fit, within reason of course! It’s very engaging and not so rigid. It’s a very friendly vibe.
What are your thoughts on the company culture?
It’s very open and diverse - everyone is made to feel welcome! It’s very caring and passionate - people are encouraged to share new ideas on how to improve the hotel. The company values really reflect who I am and how I want to treat people.
And what is the best thing about the hotel industry?
Well, there’s always something going on and there’s loads of potential to have a great career. There are several career options that begin in the Front Desk, and you can certainly develop within the company from there.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love all kinds of creative things - singing, dancing and painting! I also enjoy the theatre and musicals, as well as being out in nature and exercising. And I really love animals! One day, I’d like to run a cat home. It would be amazing to take care of animals. My friends think I’m a bit of a “crazy cat lady”.