There’s got to be a better way! Welcome to TITAN.
Have you ever seen a really broken system, and thought to yourself… “there’s got to be a better way!”? I have been in the hospitality industry since my very first job bussing tables at a restaurant when I was just 13 years old. I have been a server, a bartender, a front desk agent, a meeting coordinator, an event planner, a travel agent, a trade show model and the list goes on… I remember my Mom being so adamant that I went to college and got a degree, because she didn’t want me to work 3-4 jobs trying to make ends meet as she did (well, it turns out that I inherited her work ethic, so even though I work just one or two jobs, I still work way too much, like writing this post on a beautiful Sunday afternoon!). Even into her 50’s, my mother worked part-time as a server in various restaurants in addition to her full-time job. She had worked most evenings and weekends at restaurants throughout my entire childhood, so on Sundays when most people are taking the day off, my mom chose to “only” work the breakfast shift so that she could spend the rest of the day with her family. Sunday was for family. She is the hardest working woman I know. So I understand hospitality… it is truly in my blood. Hospitality is where I belong… even when I thought I would try to find a different career, such as when I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, got a real estate license, became a certified Mediator or any other attempt to shift my career focus… I always came back to the industry I love. However, with my various experience on all sides of the industry, I have had the “there’s got to be a better way” feeling many times. I remember working as a waitress part-time in a restaurant and being treated poorly by management. This is way too common a problem in the industry. It was infuriating to see customers and management treat my own mother like she was insignificant because she was a server. Let’s get something straight… SERVERS ARE NOT SERVANTS! Most are hard-working professionals who want nothing more than to give their customers a great dining experience.
I have worked various jobs with temp staffing agencies as well while in college, and that was even worse! I never felt like the management cared whether I was getting enough hours, earning decent pay or being treated with dignity. Most of the time I was only told where and at when to show up, with no real instructions or training. I am a Leo, and if you know anything about that astrological sign, PRIDE is one of our most dominating characteristics, so being treated with respect, and putting your best foot forward, is essential to feeling content at work and life in general. It was depressing to go to work with a temp agency and be treated poorly. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what their role, their experience or their education.
So now that I have been on the management side of the hospitality industry for the past 15+ years, I have been able to make some changes in how I operate my companies and treat employees, but I still continue to witness quite a lot of “there’s a better way to do that!” moments. Anyone in the hospitality industry will tell you that the most critical guests to invite to an event are meeting and event professionals… we notice every little detail and misstep. This is why I have such a strong focus on training. I believe that people WANT to do a good job, they just need the proper tools and training to do it. I usually don’t blame the staff for poor service, I blame the management.
This company has been on my mind for a while… I have been saying “if I ever start another company…” while mentally putting the pieces together to correct a lot of shortcomings I see every day. Last year was a tipping point for me... As an event manager for a large program, I witnessed a complete disaster for our guests, the hotel and our staff that was caused by a temp staffing company. It wasn’t just one mistake, it was complete mismanagement that affected hundreds of temp staff, over 1,000 guests and my client over several days. The owner of the temp staffing agency sold himself very well to my client, convincing us that he could handle the program and would train his staff, but he completely failed in all aspects of execution of the event. My client actually interviewed other staffing companies, and unfortunately, this company seemed the most professional. That is a huge problem. I have worked with many different temp staffing companies in this industry, on both sides… as a temp and as a meeting planner, and my experience with them has been far less than what should be acceptable. The temp staff were eager to do their best, albeit lacking proper training, and truly the reason that the entire program did not implode. The management of them was horrific. The owner did not have any hospitality experience at all… he was from the IT industry from what I understand. I have no idea how he got into this business, but I assure you, he is not the only one out there misrepresenting himself. That was my greatest “there’s got to be a better way!” moment, and I knew in my heart that the staff deserved better, my client deserved better and if even given the opportunity, I would create a company that would far surpass what the “acceptable” standards are in this industry. Trust me, banquets are not the only staffing component that needs to change… housekeeping, security, crowd management, trade show staff… they are all in need of major change.
So here we are, at the very beginning of something truly amazing. I have my sights set high, and am not afraid to cause some disruption in order to elevate the standards in this industry. Professionalism, respect
and integrity are my greatest values and the core values of my company as well. Yes, there is a better way to do things in the hospitality industry, and we will lead the way.