Four Seasons Goes to Paris: “53 Properties, 24 Countries, 1 Philosophy”
Jun Suk Yang
INTL1300 Section S
8 pages (excluding title page, appendices, references)
This paper is designed for exploring the reasons for the success of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Paris (Four Seasons). Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is Canadian based international leading operator of midsized luxury hotels. Four Seasons has enabled guests to maximize the value of their time with providing high-quality and truly personalized service. Four Seasons was able to succeed with their unique strategy of dealing with cultural differences, unique corporate culture, and strategy of human resources. In 1961, Isadore Sharp found Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto with his intrinsic architect ability focusing solely on guests, and kept expanding in Toronto. Success in Toronto led him to expand internationally. In 1970, Sharp opened a new Hotel in London, England. Thorough 1980 to 1990, Four Seasons has expanded across the world from Asia to Middle East. In 1999, Four Seasons opened the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris in France looking forward to serve best quality assistance to satisfy the customers who are traveling to Paris. Four Seasons had to overcome the cultural differences. A senior Four Seasons manager describes “Europe is different from North America, and Paris is very different.” Despite the hardships from cultural differences, Four Seasons prevailed over international competitors. Four Seasons was able to successfully open Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, and has been successfully maintaining the top quality.
Reasons for the Success of Four Seasons
The success of Four Seasons in Paris can be found from their strategy of dealing with the cultural differences in the areas of firm’s structure, staff’s mindset, and the bond between the firm and the staffs. Four Seasons has a structure that allows the firm to have the consistent service standards with high quality. For instance, Hotel General Managers have an incentive to create a better result to maintain their target bonus which is based on employee attitudes, service quality and profit. From this incentive, general managers of hotel would try to direct the employees to provide better services to guests. During the process, the managers would have to be mindful that if they become impulsive toward employees, they might lose motivation for effective work. Unmotivated employees will decrease the managers’ bonus by showing ineffective work. Due to this reason, managers will enhance their care toward employees. Four Seasons derives staffs to have professional and adaptive mindsets. “Excuses were not tolerated at Four Seasons,” which indicates the professional mindset of handling and taking the responsibility for the action that each staff takes. When a staff takes a responsibility, the staff brings better result and working efficiency. Adaptive mindset among employees is also key factor for Four Season’s success. Four Seasons wants their staffs to be “cultural chameleon,” which implies become like one of them in the country where they are. In order for each staff to be cultural chameleon, each staff must study carefully on the culture they want to adapt to. Through the efforts on studying, the staffs will provide a better quality of service to guests. Despite the strict policy, Four Seasons has strong bond between corporate and field managers, they often referred to “the firm as a family, complete with rules, traditions, and tough love.” Once the firm creates an atmosphere of family for employees, their working mindsets would be very comfortable. It will result the firm to be well operating. The goal for the company is not burdened solely, but supported with every member who belongs to the company. Following qualities made up a current Four Seasons. These qualities allowed Four Seasons to survive in a harsh market...