Isidore Sharp is a Canadian Businessman and is the founder and the current Chairman of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He graduated from college in 1952, and eight years later, started the Four Seasons Hotel in 1960. Sharp opened the first hotel in 1961, in Jarvis street in Toronto. In addition, he teamed up with Terry Fox to establish the Terry Fox Run and is its current director.
The hotel has been so successful that Bill Gates offered him US$ 3.4 billion under the agreement that Isidore would remain as the Chairman and chief executive officer and would be paid back his proceeds from a 1989 plan totaling to about $288 million. In 2009, Sharp penned down his experience in the hotel industry by releasing a personally authored book titled “Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy. “
Impact on the hotel industry
Sharp successfully established the five-star Four Seasons Hotel from scratch to what it s today, a leader in the luxury hotel sector. He started as a small businessman and ended up as a five-star hotel manager and mogul. The four seasons established and cultivated a brand name that was built on delivering high quality services to the customers. They achieved this by establishing a culture that enabled them achieve this while developing a very strong and unique brand at the same time.
Their business operates on the principle of the golden rule: doing unto others and treating them as one would love done unto them and treated. As such, the company values their employees highly with the knowledge that they were responsible for taking care of their clients. The company gave its employees the authority to make and execute any decision that directly affected their clients instead of always turning to the authority for solutions. The principles that drive his business include quality, service, culture and brand.
As an astute Businessman, Sharp keenly evaluated other successful companies and identified products and services that he could introduce in his hotels. He went as far as looking into successful companies in other countries of the world and paid great attention to details. He borrowed the concierge concept from a European company and introduced it into his company.
Initially, he tested the service in Washington, DC as a means of testing its effectiveness. The concept was so successful that he introduced it to his other hotels. It success saw his competitors copy this concept and introduce it into their hotels. The concept led to the establishment of a very strong brand in the hotel industry.
In 1968, after visiting a spa, Sharp’s wife, noticed that the food served at the spa was very tasty and palatable and told his husband. Owing to his wife’s comment, sharp investigated the culinary trends of guests and what special amenities other companies were offering to clients. In addition, after a vacation with his wife, Sharp conceived the idea of including spas in his hotels and requested six managers that were managing six hotel projects at the time to look into the possibility of including them.
They conducted their studies and noted that including them would largely improve the quality of their services. As such, Sharp was the first to introduce fitness facilities in the hotel industry. All these revolutionalized the hotel industry. Apart from hotel services, some of their products include hair dryers, shampoos, bathrobes, healthy cuisine, non-smoking floor and make-up mirrors.
Isidore sharp is the founder and the current Chairman of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He changed the hotel industry by introducing fitness facilities, a concept that has been embraced since. He built his compny on the principles of quality, service, culture and brand. He combined the four principles to establish one of the leading hotels in the luxury hotel sector.