The concierge profession is as old as time. The first concierges were employed at royal courts as far back as the Middle Ages and their remit has expanded over the years. Today, the concierge is not concerned with guarding the torch at the castle, but specialises in tasks related to the running of a business or home. So there is the travel concierge, the fashion concierge, the home concierge. What is the concierge profession and why is it becoming so popular in Poland?
Who the concierge is: some interesting facts from the past
The 19th century was a time of rapid growth for the concierge profession. A new kind of concierge service then emerged in Parisian rich houses. (Who remembers the magnificent Anthony Hopkins in the film “Crumbs of the Day” when he played an elderly butler taking care of domestic servants? 😃). The concierge would often live in a small garret on the ground floor of the house and was able to collect mail and parcels. This is how the concierge profession was born.
In the 19th century, the world opened up to travel: numerous geographical discoveries and the expansion of trade routes into tourist routes created a need for the organisation of distant journeys, the planning of expeditions and the accommodation of travellers. The concierge at the end of the 19th century was a competent, multilingual personal secretary who welcomed guests, arranged their appointments and ensured that visitors were not bored in a foreign city.
The end of the 19th century marks the beginning of the modern concierge profession
What contributed most to the creation of the concierge profession as we know it today was the formation of Les Clefs d’Or in 1929. The organisation was founded as an association of eleven concierges from luxury hotels in Paris. They came together to share information and ideas on how to improve service to hotel guests. Today, this association covers 44 countries. This is why the first association with the concierge profession runs to the hotel industry.
Lifestyle management or a trip around the world?
There is no currency more precious than time, which can be used as we wish. This is why concierge services are now available not only to hotel guests or travellers but to anyone who needs to make their day last longer.
For example, concierge service is increasingly becoming a service you can use in a shopping mall.
There is no currency more precious than time,
which you can use as you wish.
There are two other very important reasons why clients choose concierge services. These are the desire to experience impressions for which you have to have extensive contacts (for example, attending the Academy Awards gala) and to hire someone to do the regular, tedious duties that need to be done, but not necessarily by yourself (who among us likes to keep track of schedules?).
What can a modern concierge do?
A concierge is a specialist in a particular subject. An auto concierge can advise you on the company car fleet. Constantly changing tax regulations, hidden costs of leasing instalments, but also drawbacks of specific car models – in each of these areas, the auto concierge will help you.
The baby concierge often referred to as a baby planner (this profession is mainly carried out by women) is a specialist who provides peace of mind for parents-to-be or newlyweds. She will arrange doctor’s appointments, buy a layette, and check the certificates of the toys the baby will play with. The baby concierge will also plan the baby’s birthday party and arrange the arrangement of the baby’s room.
Travel concierge will plan your private and business travel. He or she will find a meeting room for up to 100 people, provide chargers in the room and make sure your trip goes off without a hitch. He or she will also take care of your tickets, accommodation and food, of course.
But what about when you need to take care of your child, your car and your trip at the same time? For complex and combined tasks there is AskHenry.
Concierge is a narrowly specialised profession
– AskHenry is an assistant with a broad skill set.
Is the concierge an assistant for VIP only?
This question is probably asked by every person who learns of the existence of this profession. And although agencies employing concierges assure you that it is a service for every budget, we will answer that it depends. Each service is paid for according to the commitment needed.
At AskHenry, we have established for ourselves that we perform each of the tasks entrusted to us in the same way – that is, with full commitment. We do not divide our offers into basic, plus or VIP quality. An AskHenry personal assistant is a person who is 100 per cent competent and committed to the matter he or she is currently dealing with. This is why we prefer to use the term personal assistant rather than concierge or concierge.
If the concierge is for VIPs, AskHenry is for everyone. VIPs too.
You don’t have to be the CEO of a big company to have a personal assistant. You don’t need to fly to Madrid for dinner. If, on the other hand, you need to save time – AskHenry has a black belt in this.
Concierge vs AskHenry
We sometimes joke that we do what a hundred contract concierges do and for that, we are easier to call ourselves. At AskHenry, we do not divide ourselves into narrow specialisations but work as a team of people who can share competencies and perform tasks efficiently. We focus on the maximum ergonomics of what we do. Why is AskHenry better? Because at AskHenry we focus on the results of how we work, rather than the exclusivity of the services we provide. There are no very important personalities at AskHenry – there is a very important time of those personalities.
Why AskHenry? Every assignment is carefully researched and passed on to the people who are most experienced and competent to carry out that particular task. This ensures that our clients are assured that their travels are handled by travel specialists and that their IKEA purchases are carried out for them by true home furnishing enthusiasts. This is why AskHenry is better than a typical concierge.
At AskHenry we have people for every job – and they are the best at it
A concierge is an anonymous person you usually only hear from on the phone. With AskHenry, you get to know each other personally, and tell us about your needs. We often take care of things where trust is paramount: we make keys, collect mail, take care of the garden and even – buy the all-important dresses for the nursery school’s fancy dress ball. Concierge runs errands most often remotely – phoning the office while we are driving to it to face the lady at the window in person. The concierge usually chooses service providers from an online directory of companies – AskHenry works with trusted providers we know personally.
AskHenry handles personal matters personally
A concierge for our times – summary
The concierge profession has an interesting and long tradition. This personal assistant used to cater to kings and the mighty of the world. Over the centuries, wealthy bourgeois, eccentric travellers and CEOs of major corporations have used his assistance. Today, with opportunities for travel, communication and leisure available to many more people, and global events such as pandemics telling us to adapt to sudden changes, the profession of personal assistant has returned to favour.
For some years now, we have seen interest in Askhenry’s services in more and more areas of life. These are not always luxury goods. Customers are increasingly appreciating our activities related to the everyday life of their companies and families. A business or family trip can be truly different than it has always been – when everything is buttoned up to the last detail. Remember, there is nothing more precious than time. It’s what gives us the space to grow and explore the world.
And as Anthony Hopkins said in the aforementioned ‘The Remains of the Day’ at the beginning:
“”Perhaps it is already the case, however, that the journey opens up amazing new perspectives, and in matters that, it would seem, have been thought through long ago and thoroughly”.