Foued EL Mabrouk, the general manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing at Oriental Plaza, has more than 20 years’ experience in the hotel industry. With a career focued on sales and marketing, he joined Grand Hyatt Beijing at Oriental Plaza as director of marketing when it opened in 2001.
What is your view of hospitality work?
In Hyatt, we provide authentic hospitality. We also have the technology to update our information on guest preferences. It is our goal to provide each individual with a tailor-made service.
You came to China to learn Chinese in the 1980s and you are proficient in Chinese. What is your perception of the development of the Chinese hospitality industry?
Since the early 80s, China's tourism industry has been experiencing a rapid growth, and Hyatt is honored to have participated in this growth. With the progressive developments in the past 30 years, the central government has endorsed and supported a number of international scale events ranging from the Asian Games, and the Beijing Olympics to the present World Expo. This in turn has not only stimulated a large demand in the tourism industry, but has also brought us new challenges and opportunities to further enhance our level of service and make China a more mature destination.
You started working in Grand Hyatt Beijing in 2001, what developments has Grand Hyatt Beijing experienced over the last nine years as a brand in the Wangfujing business circuit?
Grand Hyatt Beijing is strategically situated in the center of the city's largest commercial complex — Beijing Oriental Plaza. It is in the vicinity of Wangfujing where most central government bodies and many multi-national corporations are based. In addition, most tourism sites are just a stone's throw away. With the elements of a great location, hard work to improve our hospitality services to guest and clients, and the emerging development of the whole market, we are honored to be one of the leading hotels in Beijing.
Given the seriously competitive situation, what are your new offerings to customers in terms of added-value service?
At Hyatt, authentic hospitality is always the key. We believe that everything we do begins and ends with our guests. We are always ready to welcome them back and to provide them with a consistent and great experience. We have also enhanced our loyalty program, Gold Passport, with more global offerings in order to show our appreciation for our guests' support.
There are several five-star hotels in the Wangfujing circuit, what is special about your hotel in terms of your service and your philosophy?
We believe that a hotel is more than a building. Our focus is to have our staff provide our guests with an unforgettable stay in Beijing. Next to providing our guests with a carefree and relaxing stay, our staff are always out there looking for ways to enhance the guests' Beijing experience with little touches throughout their stay.
What is the strategy for developing talent in your hotel?
As I mentioned, our people are our biggest asset; they are the key to our success. We work very hard to acquire the most suitable people in the market, nurture our staff with the best training, and retain the best staff and welcome them in the big Hyatt family. We believe this will make Hyatt the preferred employer and so attract the best people.
What is the percentage breakdown between business travelers and MICE guests? What are the individual differences in services resulting from this percentage composition?
Based on the location advantage, branding and size, Grand Hyatt Beijing is destined to be a number one choice for business travelers and MICE groups. The hotel houses numerous meeting and function areas which are flexible to accommodate to the needs of the guests. With total function space of 2,924 square meters, we can house events for banquets, meetings, conventions or product launches for up to 1,000 guests. Besides the Grand Ballrooms and the numerous function rooms, Grand Hyatt Beijing also houses "The Residence".
As a senior professional manager in the hospitality industry what is your management philosophy?
Spend time with the client and staff members, understand what their need is and assist and guide them accordingly.
Focusing on the problem of cooperation between hotel sales and other departments, how will you develop their team-working skills?
As the saying goes, you need two hands to tie a knot. In order to succeed, we emphasis highly on team work and clear communication channels across all our departments. We do conduct a briefing among the various departments every morning to discuss the operational details and co-ordination within the various departments to ensure a smooth operation in the hotel. It is due to the hard work of the sales team, which leads to the prosperity of the operations department. On the other hand, it is the superior work of the operations team that gave the guests unforgettable experiences and repeated their stay in the hotel. With both the sales department and operations working hand in hand, we are able to improve upon ourselves and further strengthen our brand and positioning in this market.