FOH Interview: The Residence Tunis' Imed Ziedi
Having served 22 years at The Residence Tunis, Tunisia, hotel concierge Imed Ziedi, the first Les Clefs d'Or in Tunisia, shares his goals and achievements
What is your career background?
After obtaining my baccalaureate degree in 1990, and my senior technician’s certificate in 1996, I started working as a receptionist at the Residence Tunis and then as a front office supervisor until 2013 when I became the hotel concierge. I’m proud because having worked for The Residence Tunis for 22 years is in itself a continuing education in my career.
What inspired you to take up a career in hotel operations, specifically in the front-of-house division?
My mastery of languages helped me connect with this field. I love using my knowledge to help and inform people. Growing up, I watched concierges working in palaces in films, and I fell in love with this idea and decided to become a concierge at The Residence.
What are your responsibilities at the hotel?
At the hotel, I’m in charge of the bellboys’ team and the lobby of the reception. I’m mainly in charge of the guests’ requests and inquiries. I help them by providing good recommendations and information like the weather forecast, the change in room rates, the highlights for sightseeing around town, food and drink recommendations outside the hotel, booking, planning and buying tickets. I also try to speak to as many customers as I can and collect their feedback on their experience during the stay. This helps me build my database regarding guest behaviour and preferences.
So how do you keep yourself motivated?
I keep myself motivated by learning new things. I make the effort to work hard and be a good part of the team. I also come up with creative ideas to improve guest relations and focus on finding ways to solve problems or overcome any given challenge. Besides this, visible results and guest comments, I believe, are a great form of motivation to implement any necessary changes for a positive result.
What are some of the challenges you face in your role?
As a concierge, I am said to be the person to have an answer to any question and a solution to all the problems. This is a very heavy challenge because sometimes it’s very difficult to grant the guests’ wishes but I have to do it anyway.
How do you keep your staff motivated?
I usually try to keep my staff motivated by working as closely with them as possible, speaking to them and trying to understand their problems, and find out their needs and their expectations in one-on-one meetings which is a great opportunity for them to vent and even to brainstorm solutions.
What would you say are your favourite elements in the job?
My favourite elements are being able to use my various languages to converse with guests and the fact that after working for 22 years for the same hotel with almost the same team, I still love this job.
What would you say are some of your significant achievements so far?
I participated in the hotel opening in 1996 and I won both challenges. First, to make The Residence the best hotel in the whole country, and second to remain number one. Additionally, I became the first concierge to be pinned Les Clefs d’Or in Tunisia.