Having been promoted as General Manager at a young age, Fabien Chesnais was entrusted with a task to drive sales & ensure a high quality of service through guest satisfaction, at the Mövenpick Hotel and Apartments Bur Dubai.
Managing both hotel and apartment is no easy task. It is a task which involves a balance of various kinds of guests coming from different countries and backgrounds; the hotel witnesses more European guests while the apartments cater to larger families, especially in the GCC region.
Quest for a demanding career
Chesnais, a French national, was quite indecisive about choosing his career path. After being acquainted with the hotel trade, he knew that there was no looking back. He states, “The hotel environment can be stressful and demanding at times but it gives me immense pleasure to wake up every day to go to work.” Chesnais began his career in food and beverage operations and has worked in Africa, Middle East and Europe. He joined the Mövenpick Group 11 years ago. Having worked with Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea for four years in Jordan as Executive Assistant Manager since 2007, he moved to Mövenpick Hotel Doha, Qatar for his first General Manager role. Chesnais states, “As General Manager, what pleases me most is actually being able to bring so much positive impact in my daily environment when it comes to people, efficiency at work, guest satisfaction and quality improvement. These, for me, are achievements on a daily basis.”
Changing industry trends
The past few years have witnessed many changes in the hospitality industry. Chesnais mentioned, “Guest behaviours have been the biggest change for me. Hotel brands need to be able to react to changes in customer needs and trends very fast to stay competitive and relevant.” Talking about his property, he shared, “We have a variety of segments, each with different expectations and needs. It is therefore, challenging to be able to satisfy all of them consistently. Nevertheless, it all comes back to basics, like offering a hassle-free stay from reservation to check-out whilst ensuring that basic needs are fulfilled, such as offering guests a good sleep, an assorted breakfast, reliable Wi-Fi and friendly employees.”
Highlighting guest satisfaction as the hotel’s ultimate goal, Chesnais says, “Our brand offers some unique signatures to guests that mark memorable moments to their stays. It starts from our Mövenpick Chocolate Hour in the hotel’s lobby where our chefs present the best Swiss chocolate in the world. Secondly, the Mövenpick Go Healthy concept is designed to showcase the best of regional and seasonal products and provide a nutritious energy boost throughout the day. Moreover, we present signature dishes, traditional Swiss recipes revisited by Mövenpick to entice the modern palate, marrying tradition with culinary innovation. For children, we provide them the Power Bites menu, an array of nutritious meals prepared using healthy cooking methods that are presented in an entertaining way.”
He further elaborates, “It takes a lot of effort to ensure that the staff is kept informed of the need to deliver good results so that guests are content with their stay. We monitor employees’ performance through guest feedback through several tools to enable us to deliver the best. I truly believe that the entire Bur Dubai team is driven by the same genuine desire to provide a pleasant and enjoyable stay to guests.”
Millennials & technology as game changers
Technology and millennials have already stolen the show in travel. “Millennials are definitely taking centre stage in many industries primarily because their behaviours as customers are different. Our corporate office has actually ensured long ago that this is being addressed by creating a corporate Xcom Y, made of millennial executives recruited externally and internally. Olivier Chavy, our CEO and President, mentions that seven out of 10 decisions by the company are being influenced by the Xcom Y. Technology obviously plays an important role in our behaviour but I believe that it cannot replace human factor and guest contact,” Chesnais asserted.