Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The New Gold Standard

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The New Gold Standard

5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Ritz-Carlton's brand has become synonymous with the concept of elegant service and luxury. Here's how the hotel chain does it.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Even if you’ve never stayed at a luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel, you are likely to know of the hospitality chain’s sterling reputation. Few companies enjoy such powerful brand recognition; after all, the word “ritzy” has become part of the English vocabulary. Incredibly, no one ever wrote a corporate biography about The Ritz-Carlton, and its secrets of success and service, until Joseph A. Michelli took on this project. He details the five principles Ritz-Carlton employees follow to create a memorable, or “wow,” customer experience. He shows how the company’s leaders teach the “Ladies and Gentlemen” on its staff to live its mission and precepts. Michelli uses quotes and examples to illustrate every point (and is still supporting his position long after the reader’s neck is sore from nodding in agreement). Yes, it really is all that. getAbstract believes this book offers any businessperson a valuable case study in excellence and service.


How The Ritz-Carlton Began

Who could have imagined that a poor Swiss herdsman’s son would start a hotel chain that would make his name synonymous with elegance, luxury and extraordinary service? Young César Ritz began by working at premier hotels in France, England and Switzerland, learning the business at every level. After managing London’s Savoy Hotel, he opened The Ritz Paris in 1898. By then, he owned a controlling interest in The Carlton in London and in several posh restaurants.

After Ritz died in 1918, his wife Marie allowed developer Albert Keller to franchise the Ritz-Carlton name. In 1927, Keller opened a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston, followed by hotels in New York City, Boca Raton, Atlantic City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The bleak economy after the crash of 1929 forced Keller to close all but the Boston hotel. After World War II, the chain began to grow again. Today, Marriott International owns The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which has 69 properties around the world. The profitable hotel chain plans to expand into China, Egypt, Russia, South Korea and other nations, with the goal of having 100 hotels by 2011.

The five principles at the base of...

About the Author

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., wrote the bestseller, The Starbucks Experience. He is an international business consultant, radio host and lecturer who appears on CNBC’s On the Money.

Comment on this summary