Name: Eric Bouf
Campus: Les Roches Bluche, Diploma in Hotel Management, 1990
Current job: Founder & Manager at Kwadrys
“The day you graduate, your school friends become a powerful international network that will serve you just as it has served me during the past 27 years.” As alumnus Eric Bouf spoke at the Winter 2016 Graduation Ceremony for master and postgraduate students, he reflected on a lifetime of experience — and his own memories of studying at Les Roches.
Since graduating from Les Roches Switzerland in 1990, Eric has led a diverse, enriching career that spans the globe. From his first job as Assistant Food & Beverage Manager at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Urumqi, China, he worked his way up to roles including Restaurant Manager at Disneyland Paris, Director of Food & Beverage at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, and General Manager at the Paris Marriott Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel. His professional life has taken him to Taiwan, China, the USA, Belgium and Dubai, and to work with some of the leading names in hospitality, such as Ritz, IHG, Disney, Hyatt and Marriott. And throughout his career, Eric’s friendships and connections from Les Roches have opened the doors to job opportunities.
Today, Eric provides consulting, coaching and training programs through his own business, relying on his years of expertise and experience to give back to the industry that gave him so much. The turning point came around four years ago:
“I stopped to think about what made me happy, what I liked about my work. It was time to become an entrepreneur, to give back what I had learned — something that had always been important to me — and to help people.”
Up until then, Eric had been involved in training young leaders around Europe for Marriott. “I was really focused on the question: How do you implement the guest experience — even in sectors outside of hospitality? And I started talking to people who were interested in having training for their own companies.”
Eric founded Kwadrys, a Paris-based consultancy, and began to work with corporate and individual clients. Taking hospitality as a model of guest interaction and people management, Eric help businesses — including those outside of hospitality, such as banks, dental cabinets and retailers — to enhance the guest experience. He also provides personalized coaching, often to young hospitality managers, on how to achieve career goals. Despite working with a diverse clientele, Eric has found a common thread running through his training, coaching and consulting: the “three intentions” of elegance, added value and tenacity.
- Elegance: A hotel executive needs to be poised. Show the best of yourself. Hospitality is a business about interacting with people: the people whom we serve and the people whom we manage. We are impacted by what we feel through the senses — and senses lead to emotions, which are the driver of the guest experience.
- Added Value: Providing great hospitality experiences is about adding value and uniqueness. Make sure every decision generates value for others. This is how you generate loyalty and commitment. The easiest way to add value is to give first, and then you will receive.
- Tenacity: Never settle for less. Successful brands know that whatever is unique today will be copied tomorrow. You always need to be one step ahead — strive to go further and beyond your achievements.
Leaving our graduating students with these thoughts, Eric also reminded them to cherish the bonds of the Les Roches community.
“Success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of hard work, proper planning — and a great network. Your first network is right here in this room.”
Watch Eric Bouf’s graduation speech here: