FOH Interview: InterContinental Al Khobar's Mohammed Abusrour
The InterContinental Al Khobar recently promoted Saudi national Mohammed Abusrour to the role of front office manager. With the property since 2012, he tells Hotelier about his love for hospitality
What is your career background?
After high school, I went to Canada and studied English for 18 months in preparation for my college entry. and acquired an IELTS certificate. During this period, I had to go back home to help my family run the business and opt out of college momentarily, prior to joining InterContinental Al Khobar in 2012. Because of the opportunities made available to me, I realised that continuing my education now could help my career advancement in the future and so I decided to continue my college education. Currently, I am taking up my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Dammam University.
What are your responsibilities at the hotel?
I lead and guide the front office day-to-day hotel operations and my key roles include: welcoming VIPs and loyalty programme members; managing front desk operations, room inspections, handling and solving guest complaints and hosting interviews and courtesy calls; providing support for other operating departments if needed; focusing on SOPs; enhancing and creating an action plan to improve guests’ satisfaction; maintaining a good relationship with employees; managing incident reporting; preventing any shortfalls of guest facilities and staff facilities; and monitoring the safety and security of the hotel.
What are some of the key ingredients that have made you stay with the hotel since 2012?
Being in the hospitality industry in general is really my passion. Having a great team to work with drives me to be more engaged while working in a very diverse team. It reflects the positive working environment in the hotel and this has helped me to stay on at InterContinental Al Khobar since 2012. The hotel invests in promising talents, including myself, who have helped me shape and develop my career. Moreover, it developed a great structure and to continue to move forward with many success stories.
How important is the issue of Saudisation in the hospitality industry, and how are you encouraging other Saudi nationals to join the sector?
In line with the Kingdom’s Vision in 2030, Saudisation remains a priority in many business sectors in the Kingdom. While I am seeing a positive trend in local youth becoming more interested in taking a leap into the hospitality industry, opportunities are also clearly becoming more visible for my fellow Saudis. InterContinental Al Khobar has held various job fairs offering various openings to potential Saudis. As a department head, I motivate my line staff to always do their best at work and establish a very good relationship with guests and colleagues.
How do you motivate your team to provide the highest level of guest service?
Leading by example is the best leadership style in driving team achievements, and showing them how to deal with guests by following our brand standards on how to exceed guest expectations to make sure we deliver a true hospitality experience. A great motivation tool as well is to know each member of your team and what style works best for them to make sure they reach their fullest potential.
What would you say are your most significant achievements in your time with the hotel so far?
The most significant achievement in my role so far is becoming the new front office manager and running my own department.