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If you’re deep into the history of hotels in North America, you may have heard of Tom. If not, here’s a question for you. When was the last time you thought about “who is the first person to to be a Name your position?”.
There was a time when the Concierge didn’t exist in US hotels, and the person who created it is Tom Wolfe.
A mainstay as the Chef Concierge at the Fairmont San Francisco, Tom has been around the world and back again, bringing an early passion for the profession when working in Europe, to creating the modern concierge blending the allure of the old world with American ingenuity. Today, he’s a global ambassador and mentor for hospitality professionals everywhere.
Tom shares stories about the beginning of his hotel career, how the role of the concierge has changed and where he sees it going in the future.
This episode was a true pleasure to put together. Having worked together in San Francisco, I’ve known and admired Tom for years. His charm, engaging stories and motivational style are on point and I hope you feel it through our conversation.
Although the profession of the modern concierge dates back to the 1800s, in the 1900s concierges were only present in Europe due to their French origins. It was not until the 1970s that the concierge profession found its way to the United States. Thomas Wolfe is widely recognized as the first concierges in The United States. Having worked in Europe for many years, he eventually took up a position with the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco in 1974 and also went on to found the American Chapter of Les Clefs d'Or in The United States. Having studied at the hands of some of Europe's best concierges, Wolfe introduced his traditional European training and combined with a ''can do'' attitude, was able to offer the best of both continents to the hotel guests he served.