The blog series was written by your favourite member of Otolo and offers you a summary of our last Lobby Talks event. I’ll be including a recap of the event, along with exclusive insights and quotes to give you motivation.
Getting to know Fred, an industry innovator
Fred Schaub is the Founder and Managing Director of Lumax Digital, a strategic digital innovation agency that offers coaching to improve online presence.
He is known as a “passionate digital innovation and strategy leader, always eager to find ways to improve the status quo”.
Fun Fact: He ran a 215km relay race around Lake Geneva with 8 friends in September. Visit this link if you’d like to try this for yourself: https://www.runmate.org/en/about/course
You can find out more about his career by watching the Career in 60 Seconds video down below.
A Hotel with Happy Memories
We always start the livestream with an explanation of the hotel lobby chosen by the guest; in this Lobby Talks, Fred Schaub picked the Renaissance Paris Vendome.
“I picked the hotel lobby of the Renaissance Paris Vendome, which is the first hotel I’ve ever worked at as one of my first internships. To this day, I still have a special place in my heart for this hotel.
It was my second internship at Glion…I was really looking forward to it but a few days before Christmas, they told me my internship fell through and that they don’t have any money to support me.
So, it was Christmas, and I didn’t have an internship to start in January…Sometimes, life happens, and you find something that will change your life, so I found an internship at the Renaissance on 26th December and did the interview on 25th December.
I was starting on 5th January, so I had to figure out a place in Paris to live…That was my first introduction to Marriott, and I’ve now since spent 10 years at Marriott.”
Next, Fred ran us through his career in 60 seconds, although the amount of experience he had accumulated made him run over at a record-breaking 3 minutes 28 seconds! Check out the video below where he gives us a summary of his career.
Promotion to HQ and Helping Others – Career Highlights
The next section is called Good Day / Bad Day, where the guest describes a certain day that they remember in a positive way, and one in a negative way.
“In general, a good day is a day when I can help someone else; a company, a project, and where I can make things move…One day that I remember very fondly is my first day at Marriott headquarters.
Honestly, when I started at Marriott, I thought I would maybe go to the headquarters when I was 50. And I got there before I was 30, so it was an amazing day to say that I’m part of something that’s much bigger than me now. The energy and the world of opportunities that opened up to me made it a really good day.
In general, what makes my day really good is when I feel I’ve made a difference…when I’ve truly changed someone’s day.
Some of the very good days are days that I’ve had with my Otolo mentees, such as one that was looking for a change in career going from hospitality to tech. Before we started mentoring, he had interviews but never received offers. After a few weeks of mentoring, he got to choose between two job offers, so that was a really good day.”
“On a bad day, it’s usually when I don’t get to help people or I feel that I haven’t achieved the standards that I set myself. What I’ve always tried to do is ask myself what I can do differently next time.
A good technique for that is at the end of each week, I try to look at 5 things I’m happy about and 5 things I’m unhappy about, and for the 5 unhappy ones, I try to find solutions to not repeat them again. This has proven to be really successful.”
“Celebrate the ‘micro victories’ and focus more on the wins than the things that you need to change.” – Fred Schaub
What are some of your tips for people who want to work in headquarters?
“I think that you either want to stay in operations and you’re not interested at all in headquarters, or you want to go there because you know that’s where most of the big decisions on strategy are being made.
To mix the two worlds, there’s an award for the best associates each year (they’re called associates instead of employees). You go to headquarters to receive your award and walk in front of all 4000 employees from headquarters that are lining up and clapping for you. You’re one of 12 people receiving the award and they make sure that you feel special.
Most of these awardees are from properties and they’ve been working for 10 or 20 years as barmen or housekeepers. Having this amazing crowd cheering for you showcases the culture in the company. Maybe why people want to go to headquarters is to feel this culture and not be alone in a hotel; they want to be part of this phenomenal company.”
“It’s even better if you’re coming from a hotel background because you bring some of the knowledge and decision-making from the field – it’s an asset.”
“Giving yourself a break sometimes is important because you cannot be at 200% capacity all of the time.” – Fred Schaub
Global Hospitality Hotspots – A Bucket List Selection
The premise for this section is imagining that the world is ending tomorrow, but you have VIP access to any hotel, restaurant and event. Where would you go and what would you eat?
“That’s a really tough decision…but the first attribute that is important for me is to spend that day with my family. I have two young boys and a wonderful wife.
If I had to pick a specific hotel, I would wish to teleport myself to the JW Marriott in Venice, which is on a private island and is a gorgeous hotel.
Then, I would go to Hong Kong to the Ritz Carlton – the O2 bar on the 140th floor gives you an amazing view over the bay.
I would stop for a small time in a small, independent hotel in Tokyo. They gave me one of the most amazing services I’ve ever had. I was there for a 3-day business trip. On the second day, I had time to explore in the morning. The bellboy not only recognized me by name but recognized I was not in a suit, so he asked me what I wanted to explore. As we were discussing it, he led me through to the metro, gave me a ticket and said, “Have a good day, Mr Schaub”. It was a marvelous service.
Of course, I would finish in the Renaissance Paris Vendome because I think it’s a hidden gem, and I absolutely love it.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Osteria Francescana which is a restaurant by Massimo Bottura in Moderna, Italy. He was awarded best chef in the world a couple of times. What struck me when I ate there was that the whole experience was perfect from one end to the other. The seating, the lighting, the table – everything was perfect. And what I had in my plate was out of this world.
I was fortunate to have been to many good restaurants but this one stood out. The creativity in the place was absolutely amazing.
“You will make a mistake – learn from it. But don’t blame yourself for the next 10 years because you made a mistake.” – Fred Schaub
Advice on Building Trust and Great Teams
Check out the video below where Fred shares his words of wisdom and advice.
“Building a team that trusts each other and works well together will empower any restaurant to have an efficient service and differentiate itself from any other restaurant.”
“Just like in team sports where the coach has to let the team go on the field, in restaurants, your team will run alone so it’s the role of the GM or restaurant manager to build that empowerment and team spirit.”
A huge, huge “thank you” to Fred for sharing his knowledge with us despite his incredibly busy schedule, he’s really shown a real human side to everything in hospitality and has a strong understanding of how to build good teams and get things done.
If you missed the livestream and would like to watch it, here is the link: [Lobby Talks with Fred Schaub]