Boutique Hotel Workers and Authentic Service

Project Description

The October Anthropologist worked with the third largest hotel chain in the world on their brand of boutique hotels. This brand was seeking to operationalise one of its service pillars. As a brand, they celebrate the character of each hotel and want to protect their individuality and so the homogenization of chain hotel guidelines was inappropriate. The October Anthropologist went behind the scenes to understand the mindsets, motivations and conditions that foster a particular service mindset which leads to high-quality, authentic experiences.

We uncovered what service means to the people who create the experience— hotel employees. We visited hotels in the UK and the US to interview employees and managers. We also interviewed the hotel chain’s leadership, external industry experts, and studied brands outside of hospitality to widen our perspectives.

The breadth of insights led us to identify six key behaviours that make up authentic service which touch employees at all levels. We incorporated the insights into a co-creation workshop, harnessing the expertise of the hotel chain’s own team. Based on the workshop outputs, we created guides and tools designed to equip hotels with information, inspiration and methods that will help them elevate their service experience. From guidance on how to hire personalities that fit their brand, to step-by-step instructions to run creative exercises, this boutique brand now has the foundations to build out a comprehensive toolkit for their independent hotels.

Photo Credit: The October Anthropologist

Project Details