“We don’t have a General Manager, but a bandleader. Our Operations Manager is a stage manager and the service employees are entertainers.” – Puneet Chhatwal of Steigenberger Hotel Group about his latest lifestyle hotel concept Jaz
Frankfurt, Germany 27 September 2016
Exclusive interview with Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotel Group about the latest hotel concept Jaz
Which kind of event concept is the most promising one for Jaz? Are there any findings of market research studies?
Puneet Chhatwal: We didn’t commission any market research for the event concept at the Jaz in Amsterdam. Providing a hotel, which is in touch with the latest trends, it is part of our responsibility to always have a feeling for what is hot and popular. Because our direct neighbours are famous event locations, like Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam ArenA und Heineken Music Hall, we are per se perfectly integrated into the Musical infrastructure of Amsterdam.
Our staff knows the scene. They know exactly what goes on where and when and always have a top tip up their sleeves. The events in our hotels are always oriented towards the location and the specific target group. The taste for music, for example, often varies between different regions. The city of Stuttgart has a high affinity to the German hip-hop scene and we are responding to this trend.
Which efforts must be made to maintain an on-going event program in a Jaz hotel?
Chhatwal: We work with artist agencies to create our event program. We have a different musical artist in the house every day – the events range from unplugged concerts and local DJ performances to live gigs of well-known musicians. In between those music acts, the sound comes from our own radio channel. The real event however already starts with the hotel itself and every single one of our employees.
We also engage artists to present their works in the rooms and the public spaces of the hotel. A permanent feature at the front office desk is not only the reservation software, but also some turntables.
Our opening act on June 1, which was also the start of our viral campaign „Jaz in the City #builtbymusic“, showed that we are good at staging and that we can create unique events. Jaz Amsterdam, the first hotel of the new brand, officially opened its doors with a probably singular spectacle of music, dance and show – together with our fans and those of Adele, who watched the show because they waited to enter the concert hall next door. The crowd was awed and our show was anything but a warm-up act.
How do the job profiles of your employees differ from those of regular hotel staff?
Chhatwal: The job profiles of our employees basically don’t differ from those of regular hotel staff. The basic structure is the same, just as the commitment to service and quality. There is no room for compromise. However, the guests benefit of the fact that the borders of the staff’s responsibility become blurred. Our employees are all-rounders, which gives us a high level of flexibility.
Our tendency towards music is also reflected in the structure of the job titles. We don’t have a General Manager, but a bandleader. Our Operations Manager is a stage manager and the service employees are entertainers – because we do not only want to host our guests, we want to entertain them. Every one of our employees has a musical or artistic talent in addition to their business competence. Jaz Amsterdam is part of a whole adventure.