The film “Pretty Woman” takes place mostly in a hotel in Beverly Hills, run by the Mufti Bernie Thompson. What can be learned from the film about the role of hotel manager and the principles of hospitality?
The film “Pretty Woman” is engraved in our collective memory as the ultimate Cinderella story and immortal scenes from the film are cited by its fans today.
When it comes to the famous Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, it is obvious that they were engraved on our memory, but how did Bernie Thompson, as hotel manager, make a total of just 12 minutes, becoming so prominent in the film?
Bernie Thompson is an ideal hotel manager and his character is winking to anyone who has ever hosted or stayed at the hotel – he is professional and meticulous but also pleasant and smiling, knows his staff and his guests thoroughly, discreetly, knows my place, yet does not hesitate to exercise discretion and deviate from the protocol when the situation requires it.
So what can any hotel manager learn from Bernie Thompson?
Each guest is important and the staff gives guests a sense of personal acquaintance
The staff welcoming guests at the Beverly Wilshire recognizes each guest by name. How do they do it?
Very simply – while the customer pays a taxi, the bell Boy who takes his suitcase out of the trunk reads the name on it and knows how to contact the guest by name and to welcome him personally.
A guest who spoke to him in his name unexpectedly, feels important and special, and this is the experience we want to create.
In addition, it is very important to keep the existing information about repeat customers and use it to increase the sense of familiarity and belonging of the guest to the hotel.
Tami Lancut Leibowitz, CEO of TLL Hospitality, explains:
“The name of the person is the most pleasant sound to his ear, a repetition of the name of the person, opening the center of the interpersonal communication and bringing about a positive, respectful and honor connection with the person in front of us. We will meet people from the world who are rich in languages and names that we sometimes find difficult to conceive, and what is more correct than giving the guest the feeling of how much he or she is. It’s important to us. “
The hotel manager controls everything and knows everything about the hotel
One of the key characteristics of the hotel manager in the film is his total attention.
Nothing escapes Bernie Thompson’s eyes-he recognizes the image of a prostitute passing through the lobby, clarifying the details he needs to understand the situation with the elevator boy, taking Vivian into conversation and completely controlling the situation.
Throughout the film he manages to pick up happenings around him at any moment, and during a conversation with other clients, he sees what is happening around the hotel and misses nothing.
The protocol is important but the visitor is more important
Bernie Thompson is a professional manager who works “by the book” and usually does not circle corners. At the same time, he understands the situation before him, and is prepared to make slight and graceful deviations in order to provide a suitable response to those around him and to respond to their deepest needs.
Thus, for instance, he deviates from the strict rules of discretion he has used to tell Edward where Vivian traveled and thus allows the loving couple to find each other.
The world is not built on role definitions
The hotel manager’s authority in the film is undeniable. He leads the team with a high hand and everything passes through him.
At the same time, he does not hesitate to assume his role as a manager and invest time in Vivian’s close supervision of the ceremony at official meals, including an in-depth explanation of the various types of forks, which is certainly not his job.
A good hotel manager will bend over to pick up a scrap of dirt from the floor and stop on his way to give an explanation to the visitor who is looking for the restaurant.
This behavior radiates involvement, care and attention to detail and sends a strong message to employees about the hotel manager’s expectations of them.
So right. Pretty Woman” is just a movie. But it is no coincidence that it has become one of the most successful and anticipated films in history.
Millions of viewers around the world derive great pleasure from the movie, and you, the hotel professionals, can also get added value for your work.
Actor Hector Elizondo talks about the character of Bernie Thompson