What started as a dorm room idea turned into local company Concierge Solutions, creators of a digital app exclusively for hospitality and service industry employees. Although the app doesn’t launch until later this summer, we spoke with Concierge Solutions founder and CEO James Lambert to learn more about his company – and his own unique background in hospitality.
“My family has always been in the service industry,” he says, allowing him unique insight into issues and challenges faced by employees. His company’s mission is to provide digital solutions while serving as an advocate for “a diverse, talented and under-appreciated industry.” See how Lambert always keeps hospitality employees top of mind in our interview, below.
How long have you lived in New Orleans?
I am born and bred a New Orleanian. I’ve made note of an interesting disposition: each time I leave whether in pursuit of career goals or otherwise, I always end up returning home.
What do you love most about this city?
The sense of community, hands down. There is no other city like New Orleans. It’s our hospitality and spirit of family that gives New Orleans unparalleled strength and character.
Tell us about your role at Concierge Solutions.
Concierge Solutions started as a dorm room idea. Having worked in the industry for more than five years, I recognized a need for digital solutions. Immediately, Concierge Solutions was born. Our first platform, OffShift, takes the word-of–mouth communication that the industry thrives on and puts it on a digital app exclusively for hospitality and service industry employees to interface. The app will launch in July 2016.
What path led you to this point in your career? How did your career in tourism begin?
My family has always been in the service industry. If you had asked me two years ago that I would be an entrepreneur running my own company, I would’ve called you crazy. I started waiting tables when I was in college and immediately fell in love with the industry. Not only had I grown up with it, but working in it allowed me to see the challenges that plague the industry.
What do you love most about your job?
I learn something new everyday. Our team is challenged daily and enjoys being able to overcome obstacles together. I love the fact that I am able to take my passion for the service industry and lead an incredible team to solve problems.
What advice would you give to other New Orleanians or your peers about choosing a positive career path, perhaps in the tourism industry?
At the end of the day, you need to do what makes you happy. Take money, family and what your friends want you to do out of the equation and do what gives you the motivation to get up each day. Ask yourself often – “how am I making a positive impact on my community?”
How is your job personally affected by tourism?
Concierge Solutions is focused exclusively on the service and hospitality industries. Concierge Solutions’ mission is to advocate for and provide digital solutions to an industry in which the entire team comes from and is passionate for. As the industry succeeds, Concierge Solutions and its products succeed.
What does tourism mean to you as a local?
Tourism means showcasing what makes New Orleans such an incredible place to live and work.
What do you think the city of New Orleans would look like without tourism?
Without tourism, New Orleans would look like the rest of the country – boring.
New Orleans will…
Always be family.