February 1st, marks a special occasion – the 14th Annual Concierge Day in Chicago! This day is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to show appreciation and gratitude to the concierges and guest services professionals who are, undeniably, the face of Chicago to visitors. Their dedication and hard work play a pivotal role in maintaining Chicago’s status as a world-class destination.
Meet Ramon Gomez, Chef Concierge at the Gwen Hotel and President of the Chicago Hotel Concierge Association. We only have one question for him: what does a day in your life look like? (And yes we know: no day is the same in the life of a concierge!)
“Here we go:
5 AM: Wake up and run, get the blood flowing.
5:30: Shower and Grooming, look good feel good be good!
6:30: Skip Breakfast, Coffee and a 1hr drive to work, listen to sports talk. I get in the mindset that every day is game day. If I can accomplish all my personal goals/hotel goals and create Authentic Moments for my guests, I win! If I faulter in any way, I lose, shake it off as Taylor Swift would say and suit up tomorrow. There is always another opportunity to turn it all around.
8AM: walk in the door, get a pre-shift of what to expect, make my rounds to all departments and wish everyone I can connect with a good morning. It is so important to see who will be with you that day, give them the hope that we are in this together and I’m here just as much for them as my guests.
9AM-1PM: wrapped up email communication with guests and start working on confirming all my reservations, tours, car service, etc. for the day. Look over service opportunities and assist with front office operations. Package handling, continued education and training for myself and my team, daily brainstorming to improve operations take place.
Control the flow of the front of the house. Be the Destination Authority. Assist stripping a room for housekeeping, the kitchen, help the restaurant, or engineers, fill in for a site tour for sales, help the bell team with luggage, provide the Epicurean Experience for guests or Destination Authority tour are just some of the other tasks handled daily.
To Lunch or Not To Lunch?
1PM-2:59PM: Can consist of a compilation of internal meetings, vendor visits, collaborations with other departments. OH NO, I JUST GOT A CALL AND I HAVE TO RUN 6 BLOCKS TO GET A GUEST THEIR FAVORITE CUPCAKES FOR A BIRTHDAY, DELIVERY WON’T GET HERE IN TIME, WE ONLY HAVE 20MIN.
2:59PM-3PM: Sneak in a bite and breath. (I do take lunch from time to time)
3PM-4PM: Finalize some administrative duties and assist my department head with any further tasks I can help with.
4PM-6PM: Visit a new vendor or enjoy a hosted concierge event for networking.
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6PM-9PM: Continued networking with colleagues and further collaboration.
9PM: 1HR drive home. Shuffle the music, I want all inspirations.
10:30PM: prepare for the next day, SLEEP.
Now there are days that the networking is substituted with coming home and being a proud daddy of 2 and a supportive partner. Even then, the communication doesn’t stop with vendors, colleagues and guests. Its a 24 HR profession that has its challenges but beyond rewarding knowing that when you work with a team like mine, we all have the same goal in mind, to be the best at what we do.”
Thank you Ramón!