Every hotel GM has their own personal approach and style to help rally the troops ahead of an opening.
This week, we have presented four such unique stories, the first two from New York City, followed by one based in Guerneville, California, and one in Detroit, Michigan. Today we close with Brian Englehart, general manager of Maison de la Luz in New Orleans, Louisiana, who reflected on the traditional, local crawfish boil he put together just ahead of his 2019 opening.
Read Englehart’s first-person account of that event as well as some of the other techniques and strategies he employed to open successfully.
Brian Englehart, general manager, Maison de la Luz, New Orleans, Louisiana
Teamwork and fellowship are two important components for the success of any hotel and that camaraderie, I would argue, is more apparent in the state of Louisiana. It just has a way of bringing people together.
One tradition that is special to me is putting together a crawfish boil for my team and their families. There is no one from Louisiana that does not cook their crawfish. So, before opening, I invite everyone over and have two 40-pound sacks.
When we opened Maison de la Luz in 2019, my son was 18 and helped with cooking, which made it even more special. The recipe to the hotel’s success is my crawfish boil – pun intended.
When we prepare to open a hotel, I walk the entire property and personally assist with cleaning up to opening the doors to be sure all is perfect.
I involve the team in decision-making and creating the service culture, and I always have them practice service skills on the contractors in the building.
Empowerment only works if you are present for your team and support them in creating memorable guest experiences, which creates a psychologically safe environment for the team. They have to trust you as much as you trust them.