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Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

  • 60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 0A4 , Canada
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Chad Merced

Hotel Manager
“I get my energy from people, and the joy I get from what we do makes me want to do more.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2008
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Assistant Front Office Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Corporate Office, Toronto; Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver; Four Seasons Hotel Denver; Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta; Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, San Francisco

Birthplace

  • Negros Island, Philippines

Education

  • Studied Preparatory Medicine, Silliman University, Philippines; Studied Graphic Design, CCSF, San Francisco

Languages Spoken

  • English, Filipino

For Chad Merced, Hotel Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, teaching and mentoring are at the top of his list, right along with leading the team. “It’s about so much more than polishing skills,” he says of his daily interactions with line-level staff,  “they’re on the front line with guests, so it’s important that they have the tools to communicate and deal with issues as well as to anticipate and deliver on requests.”

Merced notes that he’s not just a problem solver but a cheerleader, and that the “cliché of the Hotel Manager” as being needed when others aren’t capable doesn’t apply. “Half of the calls I get these days are from guests praising individual members of our team,” he says. “That trickles down. It’s empowering for everyone.”

Merced led the Rooms Division for more than a year before being promoted to his current role in summer 2019. He was diligent in the interim, putting his stamp on the division that is so essential to the Hotel’s promised experience and laying a framework for its future. His checkpoints are “big things” like quality, service and attention to detail, he says, and he makes assiduous use of guest surveys to give clients a voice.

Then there is ensuring that there is always talent available. As Four Seasons hometown address, the Toronto property is the company’s flagship and an important training ground for hotel professionals on the rise. “We’re constantly learning, developing, and enhancing skills so our future leaders are ready when opportunities arise.” When you focus on people, he adds, “The product and profits follow naturally.”

Born in the Philippines and raised mostly in San Francisco, Merced pursued pre-med and studied graphic design before getting his start in hospitality at a luxury hotel in the city and then joining Four Seasons in Atlanta in 2008. His timing during the global economic downturn of the late ’00’s turned out to be propitious, offering the opportunity for him to contribute to and learn from other Four Seasons properties via extended Task Force assignments, including Chicago and New York. “The standards are the same across the company, but each property has its own culture and set up, so the assignments really taught me a lot.”

His next move would take him to Denver, where he was thrilled to be part of a new, young and gregarious team. “We were very young with a lot of energy, and our vibe was like the destination,” he remembers. He also spent a year-and-a-half in Vancouver. It was fast-paced and demanding but with such an experienced team, “I knew I was learning from the best.”

Merced’s last stop was the Four Seasons Corporate Office in Toronto, where he was part of the team developing the global recognition program. The project included travel to various properties to find out how they recognize their guests and determine what’s important to Four Seasons clientele. “It’s amazing to me that I’m now at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, given that we started the research on the recognition project here.”

It is interesting that Merced ended up in hospitality at all. Having grown up in a small, family-run hotel business, he started out with a goal of carving his own path. “I shouldn’t be surprised,” he says now with a laugh. “It’s a natural fit for me. We’re in a feel-good industry. I get my energy from people, and the joy I get from what we do makes me want to do more.”