Bringing Hospitality Experience to the Table Part 1: Nick Mathewson



September 27, 2022

It takes a special person to dedicate oneself to the hospitality industry. It’s something (and someone) new every day, curveballs are constantly being thrown, and you never know what’s next. But these are some of Nick Mathewson’s favorite parts of working in hotels, and reasons why he’s bringing his experience to Kipsu. 

From Bloomington, Minnesota to checking in Obama 

Mathewson first started working the front desk at a hotel right out of high school just because he needed a job. He soon realized that he loved it, and it was a career that could take him anywhere, so he soon moved to Chicago for the first of three times.

“There are opportunities everywhere [in hospitality], he said. “If you want to grow, you have to move around.” 

Following Chicago was a four year stint at the Fairmont San Francisco, one of the most highly-regarded hotels in the country. Hosting celebrities, getting to see movie shoots, and even checking-in a president were all regular occurrences at this property, where he also met his now wife.

“The pressure is much higher when you’re checking in Obama or the Rolling Stones,” Mathewson said. “But I like to step up to the challenge and be part of the experience, it’s definitely rewarding.”

While it was the excitement of meeting new people on the other side of the desk that made him fall in love with the industry, it was the people on the same side of the desk that made him stay.

“I now have lifelong relationships with people all over the world,” he said, mentioning that hotels are extremely diverse workforces. During his time at the Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis, the housekeeping standup meeting was led with “Good morning!” in seven different languages.

Beauty in the simplicity 

When Mathewson first heard about hotel texting services with Kipsu, he immediately thought it was a great idea. 

“Right away, I went to my general manager and told him we needed it,” he said. “There’s beauty in the simplicity [of the tool].” 

This was when he was working in San Francisco, circa 2015 or 2016—AKA, peak Silicon Valley era. Getting pitched a new app every week, Mathewson remembers thinking it was ironic that the best idea that was pitched to him while he was in the global epicenter for innovation came from his home state. 

“It’s always been a product I believed in since day one,” he said, mentioning he’d been toying with the idea of joining the team for years.

From the front desk to the front lines (of customer success)

With skills that only someone with years of experience in the hospitality industry can glean, Mathewson came to the Kipsu team in the summer of 2022. 

“I have lots of experience dealing with people in a frustrated state of mind,” he said of his many skill sets that will lead him to success as he now helps Kipsu partners worldwide with the hotel text messaging system. No matter the problem, guests at hotels almost always come to the front desk to solve them, so he’s not adverse to problem solving or conflict de escalation. 

Another element of hospitality that he thinks will serve him well as Kipsu’s newest Customer Success - Support Manager is the constantly changing tasks and occurrences. “In hotel operations, all you get is curveballs,” he said. Support for a software company can be like that too—tickets coming in every day could be different problems each time.

Mathewson also has experience managing people hailing from all different backgrounds, so explaining complex processes in simple ways is in his toolbelt. While it’s been an adjustment—hotels are more of a 24/7 position, whereas now he can leave work at work—he’s already dominating with his unique experience.

And he's not even the only one! Kipsu has a unique team full of people from all backgrounds, especially hospitality. Follow along on our blog for more resources on hospitality guest messaging and a series about our wonderful colleagues.

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