If evidence of the importance of training were ever needed, look no further than Channel 4's Hotel GB*. Top chef Gordon Ramsay and retail guru Mary Portas took charge of a hotel - the Bermondsey Square in London - with the support of a gaggle of other celebrities, some with vaguely related skills.
Ramsay and Portas then recruited a team made up of long-term unemployed folk keen to get a career break. Any money made during the course of their week in charge of the property would be donated to Springboard and the Prince's Trust. So far, so good.
The problem: so little time was given over to actually training those involved it was almost laughable - if it didn't make hoteliers across the land weep. The minimal training resulted in inevitable mishaps and mistakes that many would argue makes for good telly.
Leaving aside my own feelings that the Channel 4 show was a missed opportunity to shine a light on hospitality as a fantastic industry, it does demonstrate what happens when you don't equip your employees with the necessary skills to do their job.
This is something that we highlight in our look at how to handle complaints (Complaints: How feedback can drive your business forward](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/15/10/2012/345774/complaints-how-feedback-can-drive-your-business-forward.htm)). Staff who are empowered to deal with unhappy customers will speed up the resolution process - and make it more likely your business will win a customer for life.
Knowledge is power and an engaged team that understands the impact of their own actions on the bigger picture, is crucial to the success of any operation. Something that Hotel GB sadly failed to demonstrate.
Hotel GB airs tonight (5 October), but it will be available on Channel 4's online catch up service, 4oD, for 30 days.
Janie Manzoori-Stamford, contract catering editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper
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