"There are people who are good at our jobs but don't know they exist"

5 min reading time

Published on 15/09/23 - Updated on 15/09/23

Maxime Blot

Maxime Blot is a Meilleurs Ouvriers de France winner in the hotel receptionist class. On June 20, he will be awarded the title and medal of MOF at the official ceremony in Paris. We had the opportunity to chat with him after his victory.

What does this award mean to you?

First of all, it's a great recognition of my profession. The job of receptionist is a profession that is far too little valued. Over the last few years, we've heard a lot about cooking and sommellerie, but much less about reception. It's very opaque what a receptionist does.

So for me, it's first and foremost a way of highlighting this profession and, of course, it's also recognition for fifteen years' work. I'm quite happy, very happy in fact, to get this title

So do you think it's important to highlight the diversity of the hospitality professions through this kind of award?

Absolutely! I think it's important for future generations entering the job market to realize that there's a lot of diversity in the profession. It's a profession with its own special features and characteristics. Being a receptionist is different from being a concierge or head waiter. It has its soft and hard skills that you have to acquire and develop along the way.

It's really important that we talk about our professions as much as possible so that it creates vocations. I'm sure there are a lot of people with a talent for our trades who don't know they exist. So I hope this title will help to shed some light on this industry.

What do you like best about being a receptionist?

My role is little different today. I've evolved and set up my own company, which now enables me to work in hotels and train receptionists.

But what I've always liked about this job is the diversity! No two days are the same, and there's no such thing as routine in this job. You're constantly learning, you meet new customers and new people every day and, last but not least, you're also in contact with international teams.

In my entire career, I've never worked with less than three/four nationalities at the same time. As a result, we speak French, English and often another language, or even several, within the reception team and the hotel as a whole.

As far as reception specifically is concerned, it's the only area where we have access to virtually all the information about what's going on in the hotel. In our jargon, we call it the nerve center. Because all information on our customers, arrivals, departures and billing, passes through reception.

So we're at the heart of information, and it's been said that information is power. This maxim is all the more true in a hotel when you have to understand and control everything that happens within its walls.

What prompted you to launch the Hospitality Insiders podcast?

The genesis is the business I created in 2021, during the Covid. When Covid hit in March 2020, I was head of reception at the Hôtel de Berri. The hotel was supposed to close for two months, but in the end it was closed for a year and a half.

So I developed a "side project". It was more of a project to keep me busy, and was immediately called Hospitality Insiders.

At first, it was a blog where I shared content. And as I also had a lot of free time, I consumed a lot of podcasts in parallel. It's a medium I love!

As a result, I also wanted to share as much information as possible about our businesses through this medium. So, I launched the podcast in May 2021 and there are now around forty episodes.

There was also a desire to pass on - at the start of my career, I was often frustrated at not having access to information. At the time, of course, there was the Internet, but there weren't many social networks, and above all we didn't have any media that talked about our professions from the inside.

It was impossible to listen to a CEO or a hotel manager or a spa director. In my podcast, I set out to meet these professions. We talk about their vision of service excellence, their day-to-day practices, their development strategies, leadership, management and sustainable development.

The podcast covers all the subjects that fascinate me and in which my guests are experts.

Finally, what I like is that I can share it internationally, with no time or space limits. It can be consumed on any phone or computer anywhere in the world at any one time.

What will the business look like in ten years' time?

It's difficult to say. I think it's already changing, with the enormous impact of digital technology. As far as I'm concerned, I'm quite positive about it.

For me, digital isn't at all opposed to the human being. On the contrary, it's a tool that people will use to have more time, more availability for their customers or other employees.

In my opinion, we will continue to see the arrival of technologies such as artificial intelligence, which will also enable us to get rid of all administrative tasks. This is a very time-consuming task for receptionists.

They will enable receptionists to concentrate on what cannot be replaced. That's human warmth, welcoming our customers - spending time with them, looking after them and giving them an emotional and timeless experience.

Any message for young receptionists in training or just starting out?

There's no such thing as a perfect career, whether in five-star, two-star or other types of hotel. There's no perfect career path; it's up to each individual to try.

There are lots of gateways, and you can work in any type of hotel anywhere in the world. You really need to multiply your experiences to make your own path and, as the years go by, build yourself up.

That's how you become the best version of yourself, the best hotelier you can be. It also ensures that you never tire, that you're always renewing yourself, and that you continue to learn in this fascinating profession.



Sign up to add topics in favorite. Sign up to add categories in favorite. Sign up to add content in favorite. Register for free to vote for the application.

Already signed up? Already signed up? Already signed up? Already registered?