Carsten K. Rath’s early stages in the service industry began in the Upper Black Forest in a family- run hotel at tranquil Lake Titisee bordering on the town Hinterzarten. But Carsten wanted to see the world so he took off into the world of hospitality; this included global positions as Opening Deputy Director of the legendary Grande Roche Hotel in Cape Town and as Opening F&B Director at Lufthansa City Centre Beijing.
Particularly influential was his commitment as a preopening and opening professional in the Grand Hotel industry. Indeed, there is almost no continent where Carsten K. Rath has not opened a Grand Hotel. With his vast experience, Carsten K. Rath was also a management board member of the F&B Director and an active as a board member in several companies, among others, Design HotelsTM and aovo AG.
In November 2008,Carsten K. Rath finally decided to go into business for himself and that gave rise to the Richtigrichtig. com Academy.
I was fortunate enough to talk to him and he is truly is as dynamic and wonderful as I anticipated. I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I was gearing up to be a professional tennis player and then at 17 I had a bad accident so that was the end of that. By chance I got an apprenticeship in a hotel. I found my passion and was a waiter much to my father’s dismay. He was an academic and in some ways I had failed but this was my path of that I was certain! I wanted more and I to see the world, and I wanted: to set up service oases in places that were service deserts. I started from the bottom and worked my way up to the top to a lifelong endeavour.
What got you into the hotel industry?
The concept of Service excellence, the ability to make another person happy, is what I really like. Plus I was very fortunate to have real mentors at a very early stage in my career like the CEO of Kempinski and Executives at Ritz-Carlton.
What is it about your hotel that sets you apart?
Our guests decide. We focus on the obvious…. the design and the colours, which makes the difference to our guests’ experience. Our focus is on empathy, having an empathetic attitude literally making empathy part of your DNA when it comes to serving our guests. You have to truly want to make people happy; it has to be a personal crusade. We at Kameha encourage team spirit from the very beginning. To realize our ultimate goal, How does this benefit my guest?, team spirit is as important as interpersonal relationships and internal communication.
What does leadership mean to you?
Anticipation, observe and…..mindful. Meaningful, make it happen. Communication, be proud and walk the talk. Inspire people, helping people grow. The satisfaction of watching people grow out of their comfort zone and get better and better there is no other feeling like it!
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
What’s the next challenge for the hotel industry?
Hotels have to behave like a community. The rating categories 3,4 and 5 stars are over. Many hotels used to be able to bank on brand loyalty, but today’s world of online travel deals has left that loyalty in the dust. Greater transparency means the consumer can research and book directly through suppliers, search engines, comparison sites, affiliates, agents and more. Conducting in-depth trainings and giving empowerment to your team can only achieve service excellence. Have faith in your employees is key in order for them to evolve and display their individual qualities and talents.
What’s next for us?
My book 55 Reasons to Open a Grand Hotel. My first title Sex Please Only in the Suite was based on my real life experience requesting a rock star to refrain from having sex in the lobby…I can’t possibly tell you what he told me to do but I am sure you can guess!
What’s next for you?
I would like to do more consulting and teaching staying in the realms of the hotel industry …and do my favourite – public speaking. I want to pass the baton to the next generation and help them along their journey. Therefore I have created a special learning tool we-learning.com.
For more information about Carsten K. Rath services and workshops
Please visit his website www.carsten-k-rath.com/en/
Article by Sunita Sehmi