Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Eftekari

Mehdi Eftekari

General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Mehdi Eftekari is a prominent leader in the hospitality industry and has spent the last 24 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Eftekari began at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as the director of food and beverage shortly after the hotelís opening in 1988, then spent 12 years as general manager of Four Seasons Newport Beach, and returned eight years ago as general manager of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. His discerning taste and attention to detail contributed to the success of the opening of Culina, Modern Italian, which was the first destination restaurant to open at a Four Seasons Hotel without a celebrity chef component. Mr. Eftekari was involved in every step, from restaurant design to chef and menu selection. Culina has already been awarded by Esquire as one of the ďnationís best new restaurants,Ē Wine Enthusiast Magazine for the wine list, and received a design award from Zagat. Mr. Eftekari was also heavily involved with the recent $35 million renovation of all guestrooms and suites, pool deck, and legendary Windows Lounge, and his leadership on providing dedicated, personalized service is evident throughout the hotel. During his career, Mr. Eftekari has made a career of weaving his way into the fabric of the community while earning the trust and friendship of his hotel guests. He is very involved in numerous charities including Toys for Tots and he sits on the board of several Los Angeles based organizations. He has established Four Seasons Los Angeles as a haven for Entertainment industry actors and executives, and as the top hotel in Los Angeles for press junkets. Eftekari has been instrumentally involved in the launch of the new iPads with ICE technology, as he deeply believes in providing cutting-edge amenities for Four Seasons Los Angelesí savvy guests. Mr. Eftekariís love for hospitality started at an early age. He arrived in the United States from Tehran and went to Georgetown University. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in business management and marketing at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, he pinned his future on hotels, beginning with Hyatt Hotels, working in food and beverage before joining Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Eftekari can be contacted at 310-786-2212 or mehdi.eftekari@fourseasons.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.