The Caterer

It's what you know… not who

13 October 2009
It's what you know… not who

David Clarke, chief executive of Interchange & Consort Hotels and a Master Innholder, believes that knowledge is king in the 21st century and is proud that the hotel sector is once again reconnecting with its true values and recognising its greatest assets.
What you know counts more than who you know. Never before has this been truer for our industry.

We have lived through a very prosperous - some would say greedy - period. However, our industry has benefited and the status of hospitality is higher now than at any time I can remember.

The glory days, at least in terms of revenue and profits, may be gone for now but we still have our pride and talent in delivering high standards, great products and services. As we come to the end of the first decade of the 21st century, "what you know" has indeed become more important than "who you know".

Awards like the Hotel Cateys in November are just what we need to show that the hotel sector is reconnecting with its true values and recognising its greatest assets. It is about recognising the front-line people who work in our businesses, those committed people who deliver great services day in and day out - simply by knowing what they are doing.

The Master Innholders is made up of a group of individuals, recognised by their peers as having successful hotel careers built on a strong foundation of skills and experience, it's not just the "old boys or girls network" that some perceive us to be. Every year we hold a General Managers' Conference, which is open to all regardless of the hotel segment worked in, and I would be amazed if anyone attending did not leave that event knowing more than they did when they arrived.

It's what you know that will matter in the next decade. Showing that your knowledge is worthy of an award like a Hotel Catey - or joining fellow general managers at the biggest event of its kind - is something to be proud of and within everyone's reach.

Hotel general managers wishing to join the Master Innholders have until 16 October to apply. For full details, visit

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