Becoming an SA ambassador

WHAT does a day in the life of a concierge entail?

WHAT does a day in the life of a concierge entail?

The day starts with a handover from the previous person on shift, so the handover book is the first priority.

Printing reports on your arrivals, departures and events for the day. Checking and updating the work stations and making sure everyone reports for duty on time.

I also walk about the premises and the various departments to make sure everything and everyone is set and ready for the day. In this industry no day is the same as another.

Why did you decide onthis career?

Being a very outgoing person it's almost as if the career chose me. I have always wanted to work in a field where I could make a difference in people's lives while contributing to our beautiful country.

I worked in the front office, then moved to guest services, to duty manager and now I am exactly where I want to be. It took hard work and dedication, but it has been most fulfilling and just keeps getting better.

How did you get into this hospitality career?

I started from the bottom, which I think makes it worthwhile. Beginning from the foundation means that you know all the ins and outs of the hotel.

I worked in Sun City at the Welcome Centre as a guest services agent where you get exposed to people from all walks of life - from hosting groups, special VIP guests, assisting with events and so much more.

What's challengingabout the job?

The adrenaline rush that comes from the work and demands - the more exciting and adventurous it becomes. The challenge lies in the moments when there is not much to do.

What do you enjoy most about being a concierge?

The guests' satisfaction and team work.

Seeing the hotel prosper and getting positive feedback. The return of regular guests is also a bonus, as it's proof that you are giving them great service.

What type of person will make a success of this position?

A person with passion and someone who dedicates themselves not only to their job but to their surroundings. You need discipline, tenacity and professionalism.

You have to be a sponge for knowledge and learn anything about everything - golf courses, various locations, hotels, art, music, property. One must also keep in mind that you are not only working for the hotel, you are an ambassador for the country.

What subjects do you need to pass in high school to be able to study towards this career?

Languages are vital so if you are able to take foreign languages, do it.

Mathematics, business science and physics will be to your advantage.

What does one study at tertiary level to be able to get into this career?

A course in hotel management or equivalent.

What career opportunities exist for a concierge?

One can move from concierge to other departments, such sales and marketing to public relations. The possibilities are endless depending on one's ambitions and future goals.

Should one remain as concierge, you could always establish your own private concierge service.

Concierge or hospitality is a career that one can grow with for a long time. It can take you from guest services to general manager. Should you decide to venture out on your own there are limitless opportunities.

What is the starting salary for a concierge?

Salary ranges from R6000 for concierge assistant (without the commissions one can earn).

On a good month one could make double the amount, depending on occupancy and guests' requests. That is why it is always important to up-sell not just what you are working with but you have to involve yourself in selling the hotel.

lThe Pepper Club is a R400million luxury hotel and spa that recently opened in Cape Town