Friday, February 9, 2018

Supersize Your Estate, Part-II

...without fail, to give him this simple little sandwich, prepared just as he wanted it - and without having to ask twice - or to explain to the staff why he didn't want some giant slab of meat instead.

OMG, those look good.

We explored in a previous post Why Your Estate Isn't Running As Nicely As McDonald's the concept of standards as the way to have one's home running "like Four Seasons," a process by which individual domestic workers have agreed to turn off their own halogen look-at-me spotlights - and instead defer to the mission of a team, one which has dedicated exacting performances which are standardized to the clients' desires, in order for the clients to have a comforting, predictable experience. This is the true essence of luxury - predictability - and has been why some businesses such as Four Seasons - and McDonald's - have become such a huge success. The cost of the service or product is never relevant - throwing money at a problem and hoping it goes away can never substitute for simply getting the real thing. And the experience of having something this real can be experienced in midtown Manhattan for $2.45.

Despite what salespeople may have told you, luxury cannot be simply defined by sleeping on 1,020-thread-count sheets, or sipping signature martinis with organic olives shipped in from Crete on a yacht, or even by enjoying some special moments while sitting on the Toto Washlet S350. 

Because each of those things are easy - you just write someone a check. Real luxury is much more complex with greater attention to detail, and is why Four Seasons Hotel - and McDonald's - have both risen to the tops of their game. 

Because real luxury means getting something - whatever it is - to the predictable standard which one expects the service or product to be delivered. That's all.

And it's very hard work. And that's the reason some staff may not be doing it. Your staff may be simply escorting more vendors in through the gates - and writing more checks. But that's neither hard work, nor real luxury. 

My butler colleague at Four Seasons Hotel would often deliver a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to (guest's infamous name is, of course, withheld here) at 10PM nightly, made with Jiff Creamy (four tablespoons), Smucker's Concord Grape Jam (three tablespoons), and Wonder Bread (thin, Sandwich Slice). Such was carefully noted and entered into the standards procedural guides, and months later when the client returned, it was delivered again by the staff, by whomever was on duty at that time. 

They didn't try to sell him a porterhouse. They just gave him exactly what he wanted, without judgement or snarky remarks, and without fail, prepared in the same, simple way - every time. It was a standard. And it was probably the only hotel in the world which he could count on, without fail, to give him this simple little sandwich, prepared just as he wanted it - and without having to ask twice - or to explain to the staff why he didn't want some giant slab of meat instead.

That's luxury. That's a crucial, unrelenting dedication to service success which eclipses the egocentric I'm-doing-it-my-way performances from those hands-off staff members who set their own, unique, team-busting standards - having gained the tacit or even stated approval from the estate's principals to behave in such a manner.

Estate owners can have their estates running "like Four Seasons" anytime they want - they simply have to want it more than that thing they now have.

I mean... they have to honestly want it.

And that's what an estate will need to know. But only if it really wants to run "like Four Seasons."  Or even better, like McDonald's.

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