Center for Hospitality Research

Hospitality Leadership Through Learning
Center for Hospitality Research

The Power of Personal Service


By: Barbara Talbott Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts


Executive Summary:

The innovative definition of luxury developed over the past 45 years by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is based on service excellence, melded with top-notch facilities and operations. Four Seasons began by focusing on what was then a small segment of the market - the affluent frequent traveler - and in the process, built a global luxury brand. As the experience of Four Seasons demonstrates, personal service can be a source of superior profitability, reputation and growth. Four Seasons success depends on choosing employees who provide service that is genuine and innovative, on developing standards that are both meaningful and flexible, and on maintaining a culture that makes delivery of both possible.

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