Madeleine began her journey in the hotel business in at the Choice Group. Even though she’d had been looking forward to this for quite a long time, the realization that she was going to need more than a big shiny hotel to keep her stimulated came quite quickly. She glanced toward the now renowned Lydmar Hotel—with the enthusiastic, slightly crazy and absolutely genius Pelle Lydmar at the rudder. That job became reality and the initial plan was to combine it with studies in economics and tourism, but the tasks at hand were stimulating enough that the books had to reside on the shelf.
“Hotel Lydmar was the best school I could have attended”—Madeleine says and explains in depth about the privileges of working so close with Pelle and his invaluable knowledge and what some consider, his very controversial approach. “I think it gave me the best possible conditions”, she concludes. A couple of instructive years later she followed another one of Lydmar’s projects, this time to restaurant Strandvägen 1. “I worked at the office as some sort of Revenue Manager in anticipation of opening a new hotel I could sink my teeth into. But he just continued opening new restaurants instead”—Madeleine said with a smile. “I’m not a restaurant person, I’m a hotel girl”. Instead of a new hotel in Stockholm she turned her eyes northward to Åre and Hotel Granen where she took the job as hotel director for the next two years.
The idea for the app came a bit over a year ago—”Through my years in the business I’ve always thought there must be a better way to acknowledge the guest. I’d like to be able to offer more punctuality, like being able to specify exactly when guests would like their room cleaned instead of having to rely on a worn out sign on the door”. There were no signs or phones in the rooms at the hotel in Åre. “A lot of ideas started coming to me then and there. I got a tip about Jonas through an acquaintance and emailed him about my idea. A week or so later we met over coffee and the rest is—as you say—history”.
Having worked with app-based solutions in the service business for a long time we have discovered a recurring fact, there is a lack of technology. The systems that exist today are often outdated and have been in use longer than most people can recall.
The problem isn’t the lack of ideas or solutions but the lack of trust that something new can replace and streamline the old. If you have a working system it will take a great deal of effort to make a change, no matter how much resources are pumped in to keep the system working. It is deeply rooted within the industry.
This is understandable given what circumstances these organisations have had to work with historically. It’s a tricky industry with lots of traps and vicious circles. Think about it—if your room isn’t ready upon arrival, your experience gets impaired, any time you have to wait in line, your experience gets impaired, if you have to pay for an unexpected expense, your experience definitely gets impaired, the list can be made quite long.
If the choice is between implementing a carefully balanced new system, which could risk a handful of angry, screaming customers, or keeping the brittle , you tend to rather stay where you are despite the new system arguably being the better road in the long run.
This aspect really makes me think that our collaboration is brilliant. We can deliver the technology from a standpoint of thorough experience and knowledge, while Madeleine can lead the way through the reef of potential mistakes unharmed. That way, we can avoid time consuming issues and focus on solving the actual knots.
We’re really looking forward to changing one of the oldest industries in the world.