Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Roberts

Alan Roberts

Global Head of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Worldwide

Alan Roberts, Vice President & Global Head of Embassy Suites by Hilton, serves as the chief strategist and champion for the Embassy Suites by Hilton Brand. His focus is on the areas of product and service positioning standards, unit distribution strategies and ownership relations. This Global Head is responsible for achieving operational excellence, ensuring that systems, policies and programs are in place to support the brand direction in alignment with the guiding principles of Hilton Worldwide. Ultimately, Mr. Roberts is responsible for brand growth and development. He strives to drive profitability and further the expansion of the Embassy Suites portfolio. He was named to his current role in 2016. A 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Mr. Roberts has served in a wide array of capacities, from porter to front office manager, director of sales and general manager, encompassing guest-facing and operational expertise. He started his career with Hilton Worldwide in 2004 when he joined the Brand Performance & Sales Support team with Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) where he started as a Director. He also served as Sr. Director with this team and culminated his time with HGI as Vice President, Brand Performance and Sales Support. Mr. Roberts joined the Embassy Suites by Hilton brand in 2013 as Vice President of Brand Performance Support where he served until being promoted to his current position. Mr. Roberts graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Hospitality Management. After graduating, he worked for several hotels in the Asheville and Charlotte, NC markets, going on to eventually become the general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn - Charlotte Uptown. Before joining the Hilton Garden Inn brand team, he worked at Panos Hotel Group, overseeing the operations of a 12-hotel portfolio in a regional capacity. His hobbies include, history, music, sports and spending as much time with his family as possible.

Mr. Roberts can be contacted at 703-883-1000 or alan.roberts@hilton.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.