Meet Front Office Duty Manager: Precious Zwane (The Saint James on Venice Hotel)
This is my fourth profile feature, where I shine the spotlight on hotel front office personnel, to celebrate them for their work in ensuring that hotel guests have a memorable stay with the various properties around South Africa. Today taking centre stage is Precious Zwane, Front Office Duty Manager at Saint James on Venice Hotel in Durban.
What is your name and which hotel do you work for?
How did you get into your current position?
Referral from my previous manager. I’ve always believed that It is through passion and dedication that people see in you that gets you far in life and I don’t ever want to lose that even when I am having a bad day.
What were you doing before your current position?
I have worked for different hotels before my current position, but two positions that got me where I am today are when I was a Reservationist at Granny Mouse in Howick and when I was a Reservations supervisor at King’s Grant Lodge in Ixopo.
What do you like about your job?
Nothing completes my day than guests coming to me or sending that short email that says “Thank you for making our stay or function special”. At Saint James, we go an extra mile and for that to be noticed to me is just priceless.
What challenges are part of your job?
The main challenge is finding balance between yourself and the hotel’s owners/ management. And a workable agreement that staff and guests can live with. Figuring out what you must do to achieve that balance is the main challenge.
What is your long term goal with your career?
I would like to be a hotel general manager or even owner depending on the rand value and economy (smiles) because I would like to stay in South Africa, we have a lot to offer.
What milestones have you achieved since being part of the hotel front office team?
I have learnt a lot about the actual running of the business from higher management and owner’s point of view. But most of all, I have learnt a lot about myself and how to handle different people of all age groups, races and also different unpleasant situations.
How do you handle rude guests?
I handle them by using my GM Sunet’s trick “smile and do whatever you can to please them”, Even if they are wrong at the end of the day, word of mouth is the most powerful tool of marketing and can also be used to destroy the company.
What is your educational background?
I finished Matric at Faith-way Christian school in Underberg and did my Diploma in Hospitality Management with the International Hotel School. I am currently doing 2 short courses namely: Events Management and Human Resources.