November's Star of the Month is Phil Scott, general manager of Premier Inn's Manchester Old Trafford hotel. Nominated by internal communications assistant Audrey Gillespie, he went the extra mile by putting in a 42-hour shift during a system crash. They spoke to Kerstin Kühn
Why did you nominate Phil?
Audrey Gillespie Phil is really committed to his role and his team. This was firmly illustrated on the occasion when the hotel's reservations system crashed for a three-day period on the same weekend as a Manchester United home game. To ensure his team were able to cope with the situation and deliver the best possible service to the guests, Phil worked a 42-hour shift to support the team and minimise disruption to customers. The site received no complaints as a result of the system's problems, which was no mean feat, and he truly deserves to win the Star of the Month award.
How do you feel having won the award?
Phil Scott To be honest, I'm pretty flabbergasted but I'm really chuffed and honoured to have won this award. It feels great to get a bit of recognition and while it's nice to be told you're doing a good job, being rewarded in this way is that extra bit special.
What happened when the reservation system crashed?
The hotel was previously a Golden Tulip property and the system crash happened the week the hotel had been taken over by Premier Inn. I was the new general manager and the only person on site who knew how to operate the system. In addition, it all happened on a weekend when Manchester United had a home game and we had around 140 people arriving on Friday and Saturday respectively. It was a real challenge to figure out which rooms were clean and available, which rooms had been booked by whom and when people would be arriving. The team was also in shock from the takeover and rebranding of the property and it was really important for me to emphasise to them that this crash wasn't representative of Premier Inn and the way the hotel would be run under the company.
How did you manage a 42-hour shift?
With a hell of a lot of coffee! The first 24 hours were probably the hardest but after that I just started to run on adrenaline and fuel reserves. I knew that even if I went home to have a break, the team would have still been stuck with the problems and they really needed me there to help. I took a day or two off afterwards to recover.
What will you do with the £500 prize money?
I'll treat my wife to a spa break. She bore the brunt of the hours I put in and had to look after our three little boys all by herself so she really deserves a treat.