NYC Doormen Receive Concierge Training at the Waldorf
- Sep 14, 2010
Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
New York–What does it take to be a better New York City doorman? Rockrose Development is hoping that its doormen at the company’s eight residential properties in the city will find out exactly this at a luxury hotel-style concierge training at Abigail Michaels Concierge. This is the first time that the internationally known concierge company has offered this kind of training to doormen.
The course, which began a few weeks ago at the Waldorf-Astoria, is taught in eight-hour sessions for groups of no more than 12. The classes are being taught by Michael Romei, chef concierge at the Waldorf Towers and general secretary of international concierge society, Les Clefs D’Or, and focus on the importance of attitude, appearance and behavior when dealing with residents.
The reason for sending its doormen for such high-caliber training, according to Rockrose, is that the company believes that even as an increasing number of buildings in the city are being called luxury residences, many aren’t providing their tenants with the level of service their branding suggests. Rockrose, whose holdings include properties in Battery Park City, the Financial District, Long Island City and the West Village, is among those that term its properties “luxury.”
“New York has changed so much over the years that the location of a building doesn’t matter as much, in terms of service,” Romei noted in a statement. “If the price and marketing are luxury, then the service should reflect that, even if a building is not on Park or Fifth Avenue.”
The all-day session begins with a history of concierge, a lesson on the components of service, and a call-and-response period that allows the doormen to actively participate in the training. Romei emphasizes how traits such as working well with a team, being well groomed and speaking clearly can all affect the impression a resident has of a building. A short video on the importance of telephone conduct is followed by an interactive role-playing session where the participants act out conversations (according to Romei, inferior phone skills are the Achilles’ heel of the hospitality industry).
Later, the participants are taken on a tour of the Waldorf-Astoria to shadow the front desk staff and doormen, allowing them to see them in action. Following a writing exercise focusing on welcome and thank you notes and an additional round of role-playing, the participants are given a short exam. But that’s not the end of it, according to Rockrose. Anonymous representatives will visit the doormen in the weeks after the training to see that it’s being properly implemented in every building.