Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

The Ritz-Carlton Way–Impressive!

Do you have Gold Standards for your work behavior and performance?

A few months ago, several of us celebrated Shannon Rowe McCorison’s birthday with dinner at Elway’s at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver.  Shannon had worked with the staff there because of a ProLogis event she had managed, and wanted to go when she and Casey could relax and enjoy the time.

The Ritz-Carlton was formerly an Embassy Suites and I wanted to see how the renovations looked. I also wanted to see if this Ritz-Carlton was living up to the Ritz-Carlton service standards that have created an unrivaled reputation among hotel chains. And, I wanted to try out the steaks at Elway’s, a John Elway owned steakhouse/restaurant. There is another one in Cherry Creek. However, since this one is in the Ritz-Carlton, the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standard applies for the dining experience. Reviews have been great for the restaurant as well as the hotel.

This isn’t a food review–although the food was excellent. The important thing to me was seeing the evidence of Ritz-Carlton service, as exemplified by:

• Damian Jenkins, General Manager (highly professional and warmly charming!)
Jens, our lead server,
Lee, another server.
Michael Casey–the outstanding sommelier, who was not present but who sent champagne for a birthday toast,
Tim, the sommelier who helped us with wine choices during the dinner,
The dozen or so helpful staff members of the hotel and the restaurant, whose names I don’t know. They opened doors, greeted us warmly, and generally made us–and the hundred or so other people who were in the entrance, lobby, gift shop and restaurant areas–feel like honored guests.

Every time I have been in a Ritz-Carlton I have been impressed. The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver certainly fulfilled the Gold Standards that night.

I’m going to cut and paste what the Ritz-Carlton website says about their Gold Standards, so you can have a template of sorts for creating similar standards for your personal work.


Our Gold Standards are the foundation of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.  They encompass the values and philosophy by which we operate and include:

The Credo
The Motto
The Three Steps of Service
Service Values
The 6th Diamond
The Employee Promise

The Credo

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.

We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience.

The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.


At The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” This motto exemplifies the anticipatory service provided by all staff members.

Three Steps Of Service

  1. A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest’s name.
  2. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs.
  3. Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest’s name.

Service Values: I Am Proud To Be Ritz-Carlton

  1. I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life.
  2. I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
  3. I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.
  4. I understand my role in achieving the Key Success Factors, embracing Community Footprints and creating The Ritz-Carlton Mystique.
  5. I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience.
  6. I own and immediately resolve guest problems.
  7. I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met.
  8. I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.
  9. I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me.
  10. I am proud of my professional appearance, language and behavior.
  11. I protect the privacy and security of our guests, my fellow employees and the company’s confidential information and assets.
  12. I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment.

The 6th Diamond

Emotional Engagement

The Employee Promise

At The Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests.

By applying the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity and commitment, we nurture and maximize talent to the benefit of each individual and the company.

The Ritz-Carlton fosters a work environment where diversity is valued, quality of life is enhanced, individual aspirations are fulfilled, and The Ritz-Carlton Mystique is strengthened.


Wouldn’t we be impressive if we had Gold Standards of this magnitude–and lived up to them? Consider what your credo and motto would be. What would be your steps to service? What would make you worthy of the 6th diamond in your behavior, work performance and group contributions? Make your name one of those–like the Ritz-Carlton–which says it all when someone is talking about excellence.

January 25th, 2009 Posted by | Food, Fitness, Fun, Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development, Service to Customers, Clients and Coworkers | 4 comments