INTERVIEW: Burak Ipekçi- Chef Concierge London Hilton Metropole
The beauty of our LCD large family is that we can always keep in touch and share some points of views. This time we have the pleasure to interview our dear friend Burak Ipekçi, Chef Concierge at Hilton London Metropole. We have asked Burak to tell us about his passion on his job, how is the current situation in London and if he will attend next International Congress…
Burak, would you like to tell us how your passion for becoming a Concierge was born and, in your opinion, which important skills this figure must have in the hotel?
I’ve always counted myself as one of the fortunate ones as I’ve found myself in the hospitality industry the summer I graduated from high school at the age of 17. Therefore, it was natural for me to study Hospitality Management following that experience. But I found my calling as a Concierge few years later in New York when I was offered the role, although I applied as a Front Office Supervisor. I guess it is safe to say that I didn’t find the job, but the job found me. If you indulge me for a moment, I will reply the second part of your question with some keywords: empathy, cultural awareness, curiosity, eagerness to serve and help and languages.
How was the tourism in London in the year of the pandemic? Which is the current situation?
As it has been across the globe, the pandemic turned our lives upside down. From a considerably strong January and February, we found ourselves in a lockdown situation within weeks. With the exception of Hilton Metropole and few others in London, every hotel closed their doors and sent their team members home. Even thug the government was providing income support to these team members, as the occupancy forecast didn’t look encouraging for the coming 12-18 months, some hotels decided to reduce the number of employees they had. During this process, some of our colleagues have lost their jobs here in the UK. After a relatively busy summer where some hotels reopened, the Autumn brought new challenges with increasing infection rate and forced these hotels close their doors once again. Currently, as it was almost a year ago, the country is in lockdown once again. Along with my hotel, there are few others still trying to keep their doors open.
Unfortunately, the Congress in New Delhi has been cancelled and probably it will be cancelled again this year. In 2022 will you attend the next International Congress?
I do not think it is a question that can be asked to a Les Clefs d’Or Concierge. A congress is where we grow, network and create long lasting friendships. That is where we go to explore and learn something new. So, it does not matter this year or the next, I am certain the leadership will put together a congress the first change they get and bring us together. The moment that announcement is made, I will register… Without a moment’s hesitation…