An optimist and a woman of pleasure: Michaela Gnesda, Head of Quality at Vienna House, loves and lives the hospitality philosophy. Find out what’s important for her in her job, what excites her, and more, in today’s Face to Face interview …
1. Head of quality – that sounds exciting. But many readers may not understand completely what that entails?
Vienna House completely restructured its quality management in April 2014. Our relatively small but very functional department is fully focused on guest satisfaction: positive and negative comments are examined in detail, answered and acted upon. The goal is to generate an outstanding guest experience to avoid complaints in the first place.
Here’s a good example: A guest at the Vienna House Diplomat Prague asked to have the current calendar of performances from the Prague Opera. The receptionist (obviously an ardent singer) launched into an aria from the opera currently being performed. You can imagine not only the guest’s surprise, but that of everyone else in the lobby, too! 🙂
Of course the point isn’t to teach all of our employees to sing. But what’s important in our business is authenticity and passion for what you do – that’s the only way to leave a lasting impression on the guest.
2. Now for something more personal: You describe yourself as a passionate tourism industry expert. When did you decide to follow this path?
I was pretty young. When I was 14, I was infatuated with the TV series “Hotel”. And soon it became clear: I wanted to become a hotel manager!
3. What happened then? Where did you get a foot in the door?
After graduating from the tourism college in Kleßheim, I held a number of different jobs in the hotel industry – from receptionist to manager’s assistant, I did it all. In 2004, I was appointed resident manager of the Weißes Rössl at beautiful Wolfgangsee lake. I really have fond memories of that time – not only because that’s where I met my husband. Actually, I had wanted to pursue my career in Asia. But as things happened, love kept me in Austria.
4. Which destination would you recommend our readers visit next?
There are so many! But I would definitely recommend a trip to Cracow – in my opinion, Poland’s “secret capital”. Cracow simply is an unbelievably beautiful and interesting city that combines so many different aspects, be it culture, art or good food.
5. How do you spend your free time?
Should I really give you a complete list? We’d still be here tomorrow [laughs]! I’ve got to say, I’ve always been fascinated by culture and the arts. As a teenager, I wanted to become an actress – “The Little Prince” was my favourite book and I acted for quite some time in the Leobener Ensemble. That’s the only theatre group in Austria where children and adults perform together. Of course, I love to travel – I simply am a person of pleasure. When I’m not on the go, you might catch me at home in front of the TV watching an episode of “Sex and the City”. But let’s keep that our secret!
Thank you for the interview!