Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Toomey

Colin Toomey

Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Colin Toomey is a 25-year veteran of the Concierge profession. He began his career at the Sheraton Brisbane Hotel in the mid 1980's. A native of Sydney, Australia he returned home during the Australian bi-centenary celebrations of 1988 and started work in the lobby of the historic InterContinental Hotel Sydney. As the Japanese tourism boom of the early 1990's reached its peak Mr. Toomey opened the 470 room Hotel Nikko in Sydney's leafy Potts Point, assuming his first role as Chief Concierge. A final move back into the city in 1995 to the newly opened ANA Hotel, coincided with Colin's acceptance into the Society of the Golden Keys. Receiving his keys from the then International President of Les Clefs d'Or, the legendary Tony Facciolo, was considered by Mr. Toomey to be a highlight of his early career as a professional Concierge. In the ensuing 18 years Mr. Toomey has risen through the ranks of Les Clefs d'Or, first in his native Australia and then on the International Board of Directors. When elected President of his National Section in 2002 Mr. Toomey became the youngest person to ever hold this position. He presided over a period of strong growth for the Gold Keys in Australia. Two years later he was entrusted with the Zone Directors role for Oceania, the smallest of the seven regions that make up the international body of UICH. Having been elected onto the International Executive during the Guangzhou Congress of 2009 Mr. Toomey now holds the position of 1st Vice President Les Clefs d'Or and remains the only representative of that body based in the Southern Hemisphere. During his time at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, (which took over management from ANA in 2003), Mr. Toomey has received numerous industry awards recognizing his achievements. A two time winner of the Australian Hotels Association Concierge of the Year Award, Mr. Toomey was also a recent recipient of an equivalent honor bestowed by Hotel Management magazine. Outside of work Mr. Toomey is an avid golfer and bush-walker. He resides in the coastal Sydney suburb of Little Bay with his wife and three young daughters.

Mr. Toomey can be contacted at 612-9250-6018 or colin.toomey@shangri-la.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.