Steal This Job

Answer Woman: Concierge

Steal This Job
Kimberle Reid (above) is a concierge at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C. (Claire Duggan)
By Danny Freedman
Monday, October 24, 2005; 2:41 PM


JOB: Concierge at the Hotel Monaco

SALARY: Between $23,000 and $30,300, plus tips, according to

WHAT SHE DOES: Reid's duties range from replacing forgotten tweezers and hairspray to making guests' big ideas happen, such as renting a boat in Annapolis for a couple of hours. Booking a table for 7:30 on a Saturday night is the most frequent -- and often the toughest -- request of all. If it can't be gotten, the key is to present options: "We never say 'no' in the hotel industry." Her second-most common request is to help orchestrate birthdays and anniversaries. She's even planned three marriage proposals. Some guests require more hand-holding than others in the event-planning department, however. Some men, she said, need help getting "a little bit more creative."

WOULD YOU WANT HER JOB: She dedicates a lot of her own time to visiting museums and feeling out restaurants in order to make sound recommendations to guests. On the upside, restaurants are usually happy to entertain a concierge, and might offer free meals. All that leg-work pays off in tips, sometimes up to $200 on a good week. "A lot of it comes from how fast we can procure something and what we know. The more you know, the more lucrative it can be."

HOW YOU CAN GET HER JOB: Previous experience in a restaurant or hotel demonstrates that you can manage a deluge of requests from customers. (Reid previously worked in accounting and as a front-desk manager.)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Washington Area Concierge Association  holds monthly meetings and maintains resources for concierges.

This article originally appeared in the Express on November 15, 2004.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company