I shadowed a hotel concierge at a fancy hotel in downtown Toronto. Fortunately she had time to talk to me despite it being a busy season when the volume of requests and guests is a lot to handle. She has been a hotel concierge for many years and started in the hotel industry a long time ago. She loves her job and loves to work with her guests to solve their problems. At first I thought concierges were there just to book reservations and give directions, but concierges are there to help guests with everything.
Every day the requests are different and the concierge I shadowed has seen everything. However, even though the odd requests are fun, being a concierge during peak seasons can be very challenging. Every guest expects great service and it can be a high-pressure job. Thus, a concierge has to be very organized, enjoy working with people, able to make decisions for guests, and very dedicated. In fact, the concierge I shadowed said that she has to check out the newest restaurants, latest attractions, and new museum exhibits to stay knowledgeable. Staying updated is all done on your unpaid time so you had better enjoy your job if you are a concierge.
While shadowing the concierge, I learnt about Les Clefs d’Or (“The Golden Keys”), which is the professional association for hotel concierges. The concierge I shadowed was part of it—members can be distinguished by the gold keys pinned on their lapels. The association trades information so the concierges have more knowledge, and it reassures the guests that they are receiving credible information.