Interesting insights on Four Seasons and Isadore Sharp….

This might surprise even its longtime guests, but Four Seasons — the company, that is — doesn’t own hotels. It operates them on behalf of real estate owners and developers, who typically call this office in Toronto with nothing but a patch of land and a checkbook. Four Seasons participates in the design of the property and runs it, with nearly total control over every aspect of the operation, from the number of bell staff to the thread count of the sheets. For its efforts, the company generally earns 3 percent of the gross and approximately 5 percent of profits, and owners must also chip in for chainwide funds for global sales, marketing and reservations. Separate accounts are typically set up at each hotel as reserves to cover upkeep. These are high numbers, and because Four Seasons staffs properties with more bodies than rivals do, profit margins at its hotels are relatively low. – from Herald Tribune