New GM at InterContinental Hotel Beijing Financial Street
Updated: 2012-12-29 08:01
By Ma Xue (China Daily)
The exhilarating night view of the InterContinental Hotel Beijing Financial Street. Photos Provided to China Daily
Frankson Lee knows service crucial to maintaining standards and legacy of legendary hotel group, Ma Xue reports.
The sun had yet to break through the mist on a recent winter morning, but the day was already in full gear for Frankson Lee, newly appointed general manager of the InterContinental Hotel Beijing Financial Street.
A Singaporean with more than 17 years of international experience in the hospitality industry, Lee has worked abroad in a range of departments, experience that has made him an adaptable and extroverted leader.
"As a manager, it is crucial to remain calm and patient, but alert at all times," he says. "I can't stress enough the importance of communication for stimulating internal integration in a hotel like the InterContinental. No one, certainly no department, actually achieves anything on their own."
Located at the heart of Beijing's financial street, the hotel continues to gain prominence as an internationally influential business center. Some 90 percent its guests are corporate and business clients.
"We are determined to create a home away from home for our clientele, and our engaged employees play a critical role in this," Lee says.
From the concierge welcome to guests at the door to the maitre d' greeting them at the restaurant, paying attention to details is now a natural habit for employees, said the general manager. Employees know their guests' names, preferences and some even know about their allergies, he noted.
"There is a definitely a bond between our guests and our staff, which is a unique feature of our hotel that cannot be duplicated by others," Lee says. "This not only provides our guests a smooth day but also enhances their experience and maximizes satisfaction.
"It's tough for every hotelier who is determined to achieve success in such a competitive industry. I have seen ups and downs over the past decade," Lee says.
But he firmly believes there is no time like now to show his guests exactly how far the hotel will go to reach out and 0how hard employees will work to maintain InterContinental standards as well as its legacy.
He says the property has a consistently high customer return rate, something every hotel strives for in the current economic climate.
Before Lee worked as the resident manager of the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong as the right-hand man of the general manager.
"I was never a manager who enjoyed staying in the office. There is such an excitement to be working with all those brilliant hoteliers and the exposure to such large-scale, multi-venue food and beverage operations was extraordinary," he says.
"The team in Beijing gave me an exceptionally good impression," Lee recalls about his first visit. It was not long before he received an offer to become the general manager of the InterContinental Hotel Financial Street.
"I have been working with the InterContinental Hotel Group for over two years and the company has generously provided me opportunities to allow me to grow as a hotelier," he says.
Though he has been at the job for a relatively short period of time, the 40-year-old hotelier observes every aspect of the hotel and talks to every employee whenever he has a chance.
"I have to admit our staff's professionalism and how committed they are to their jobs really awed me during the transition period," he says.
"Although one small challenge remains - trying to remember 390 names and faces as soon as I possibly can," he adds. "I get to devote myself to work completely thanks to the help from my team the whole way through. They have done a marvelous job helping me and my family to settle down in Beijing."
On top of the promotion, Lee and his wife recently welcomed a new addition to their own family.
"I think it's genuinely easier to try to manage a hotel of 390 employees than trying to know your way around a newborn," he says.
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