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Blog Article

A Day in the Life of Matthew Smith

Jan 18, 2024 | Davidson Restaurant Group

Most of my days start the same, I wake up, get ready for work, and try to beat most of the Chicagoland commuters into the Windy City. On this particular day, I feel the energy as I get closer to the iconic Wrigley Field. I arrive at the hotel at about 9am. After arriving at my office, I take a couple of minutes to check my agenda for the day to see what meeting or events I have scheduled. I also take a few minutes to review the MOD reports and see what follow up may need to be completed. After a quick refresher, it’s time to walk the space. It is very important to me to find ways to live and lead through Davidson’s core values throughout my day. I start by the front desk where I connect with our outstanding Front Office team to review any VIP arrivals for the day and talk about what is happening on campus. After a quick check-in with the Front Office team, I make my way to the first floor to touch base with the Housekeeping team about the plan for the day.

After catching up with leaders from both Front Office and Housekeeping, I start my public space walk prior to attending our 10am Leadership standup meeting. On this walk, I take time to view our space from the guest’s perspective to ensure we are ready for all the visitors that will be spending time in the lobby throughout the day. I’ll then catch the elevator to the 7th floor to attend our leadership meeting led by our General Manager. During this meeting, we review as a team the daily arrivals and departures, any VIP reservations, our GSS scores along with any reviews that were received the previous day, and our finances and how we are trending to forecast and budget. Being inclusive and sharing this information with our entire leadership team allows us to become better every day. To end our stand-up meeting, we get a little competitive for a couple of trivia questions and then get right into labor review for the previous week and how we are forecasting labor for the weeks to follow. After our morning meetings, I sit with our Controller to review expenses for the next month to ensure our forecast is as accurate as possible before the first of the month. In this specific monthly review, we were completing one of the strongest months of the year and moving into a more humbling month. It is great to review this information with the team to ensure we are setting our team up for financial success month after month.

Late in the morning, we host an internal meeting with our operations department heads and the sales leaders that were involved in the planning for our arriving group to review all details to ensure the arrival goes smoothly. This is our chance to ask questions and clarify any details to ensure we are all on the same page prior to the group’s arrival. These meetings allow us to create added value to our arriving group.

This was a unique day for our operations team as we were waiting for the arrival of our first ever MLB team that was staying at the hotel and while this was a risk for our hotel, the team really stepped up to create an unforgettable memory for the arriving team. I spent most of the early afternoon preparing for this evening’s arrival by writing welcome notes to some of our VIP arrivals, walking VIP rooms, placing amenities, and meeting with the Front Office leadership team to ensure all the keys and key packets were ready.

At 3pm, I complete one more walk of the public space to ensure it looked ready for the Cubs baseball fans to enjoy themselves prior to the game. After a few quick touchups, we were ready to go! At this point, it was time for me to head back upstairs and change. Hotel Zachary’s Director of Sales and I are entertaining one of our largest business travel accounts this evening. This started with drinks and appetizers at Alma, Hotel Zachary’s recently re-launched lounge and ended with us going to the Chicago Cubs game right across the street at Wrigley Field.

After the game, it was time to get back to work as the baseball team had arrived and it was time to help the Bell Attendants get all the bags quickly delivered to the guest rooms. Thanks to the help of our dedicated Bellman, House Attendants, and Sales team, we were able to get all the teams’ luggage upstairs in record time. I always take the time to follow up with clients and after speaking with our business travelers and our MLB team contacts, it was clear that the team knocked it out of the park!

After one final check-in with the operations team to ensure they were prepared for the remaining arrivals, it was time to head home. What an amazing end to another successful day at Hotel Zachary!