Former Manchester United captain and England footballer Gary Neville provided an amusing insight when he addressed the Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) in Manchester last week and revealed his plans to open a string of hotels across the UK.
Fed up with the meagre offering he often comes across in many hotel minibars, he declared that "large bars of Galaxy" will be an essential in the bedrooms of each of the hotels he is planning to open.
On a more serious note, Neville - who intends to be fully involved in the key decision-making processes of his hotels - said he will be drawing on the inspiration of former boss Sir Alex Ferguson whose "aura of presence" encouraged every member of the team to perform to the best of their ability.
A good manager - whether of a football club, hotel or any other hospitality venue - will ensure that every member of the team is truly valued by doing everything in his or her power to ensure their happiness. In today's world this means having flexible staff rotas, a decent working environment, with the provision of food where appropriate, and a clearly defined training and development programme at every level.
Also at the AHC, hotelier Craig Bancroft said that it has become harder to recruit and retain people, and he and his business partner, Nigel Haworth, are constantly devising new means of encouraging their staff to remain loyal to their hotel, Northcote, and four pubs.
As Bancroft explained, only by providing a working environment in which staff are happy will they deliver the best possible service to customers. It is a concept Neville understands well, having shown loyalty throughout his playing career to both club and country. It will be interesting to see how he applies the same philosophy in his new career as a hotel operator.
Janet Harmer, Hotels editor,Caterer and Hotelkeeper
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