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The Power of Legacy

The most powerful gourmet food brand  in Paris brings a new sense of luxury to the hospitality industry In the first keynote speech of the day...

The most powerful gourmet food brand  in Paris brings a new sense of luxury to the hospitality industry

In the first keynote speech of the day at the inaugural Boutique Lifestyle Digital Summit, Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, President & CEO of Fauchon Hospitality, was interviewed by Frances Kiradjian, Founder & CEO of BLLA, to give viewers an update on the happenings at the luxury retail brand in Paris. 

Ever since Chauvin was brought on the Fauchon team in 2018, he has been innovating new methods to entice guests to stay at Fauchon l’Hôtel Paris. Chauvin explained, “For a boutique hotel, it’s about being different – being obviously special, not trying to replicate the others…in our case, we are the ‘gourmet hotel.’ Another key element we like to emphasize is feminine touch. We like to say we are in tune with women.”

They certainly are – many details in the room indicate that the guest experience was at the forefront of the designers’ minds. From the beautifully lit makeup mirror to the floorboards that optimize comfort when walking barefoot, no aspect of the room was overlooked. Dyson even designed a special hairdryer case for the hotel. And of course, the hairdryer itself features the brand’s signature color: Fauchon Magenta. The special attention to details make this hotel the epitome of elegance. 

Since reopening, Fauchon has instituted a new policy for its mini bars, or “gourmet bars” as Chauvin appropriately termed them. Each delicacy in the bar is now included in the cost of the hotel room. Guests can either enjoy them during their stay, or they are invited to take them home to continue the Fauchon experience. This ensures safety and cleanliness, rather than completely doing away with the amenity as many other hotels have done in light of COVID-19. 

Luxury hotels are known for this type of personalized, interactive guest experience, especially at the front desk. Now in the face of contactless technology, Fauchon is giving guests the choice of either a minimal level of interaction or a normal, pre-pandemic level of it. Surprisingly, Chauvin reported, 80-90% of guests still want normal interaction. Jérôme Montantème, the General Manager of Fauchon l’Hôtel Paris, made a guest appearance to share a new housekeeping protocol in which guests choose the exact time they want their room to be cleaned. With only 10 rooms per story, the hotel provides an added element of safety that only boutique hotels can offer. 

Chauvin found the most difficulty in staffing the hotel upon reopening when he had to re-establish the value of working. Chauvin reported substantial resignations, but found light in new employees arriving with different, more positive mentalities. Hospitality is at the root of operations, and to Chauvin, “it’s about intuition, natural generosity, and caring about others.”

Chauvin laid out three steps that he is implementing to draw guests back to his hotel. First, the brand needs to build trust through continuing to follow strict health and safety protocols, which encourages travel. Second, Chauvin wants to “encourage appetite” with testimonials. Today, social media is arguably the most effective way to accomplish this, but as Chauvin pointed out, word of mouth has always been instrumental for success in the hospitality world. Third, Chauvin is inspiring creativity within the brand. He offered the example of bringing occasion to travelling with a group. Fauchon is in the process of transforming hotel rooms into family suites. This is certainly something to look forward to as more and more people are able to travel. 

Fauchon l’Hôtel Paris was one of the first hotels to reopen in Paris in July and is currently operating at 20-30% capacity; Le Grand Café Fauchon resumed operations earlier in June and is opened to 50% capacity. Although these are low numbers for the industry, Chauvin is extremely thankful for whatever number of guests he is able to accommodate. “Every single victory during these days is a delight, in a way,” he reflected. “We’re starting fresh – a reset. We’re starting on a green field.” With this positive outlook on the current hardships the hospitality industry is facing, Chauvin is sure to have great success in the months ahead. 

Article written by Drew Stephenson of BLLA

BLLA members can watch the full session in the BLLA Collective member portal here

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