Four Seasons

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Case Summary: Four Seasons Goes to Paris? – Entering a foreign market Basic facts about Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is a Canadian international luxury hotel management company. Between 1996 and 2000 they increased revenues and margins by about 20% and 10% respectively. Their revenue per room was about 30% higher than that of their competitors. Four Seasons generally operates, but does not own, mid-sized luxury hotels and resorts. By 2002, they indisputably became the world's leading operator of luxury hotels, managing 53 properties in 24 countries. The Four Seasons management structure follows the idea of regional adaption, meaning that each property has a general manager, who is supported by a regional HR director, a regional marketing director and an area director of finance. Being able to adapt to different national cultures, as well as living up to Four Seasons' corporate culture, is the most important requirement for all staff. The strong corporate culture of Four Seasons entails not only longevity of staff careers, but also determines their market strategy and day-to-day business. Four Seasons' International Strategy Four Seasons has several universal standards (7 service culture standards and 270 core operating standards) to guarantee exceptional service in every location. All operating standards are of flexible character: in case that adaptations make sense for a specific geographical region the standard can be adjusted there (for example the standard that the coffee pot should be left on the table during breakfast to refill cups was amended in France, because it was perceived as a lack of service). These tailor made hotels ensure regional diversity and avoid an obtrusive Four Seasons standardization. The balance between diversity and singularity is the key component for success in the Four Seasons business model. The distinguishing edge of Four Seasons Hotels is their exceptional and personal service. Therefore,...
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