Nairn rates customer care above Michelin stars

16 February 2006
Nairn rates customer care above Michelin stars

Hospitality operators that fail to focus on customer and employee care risk harming their business, according to speakers at last week's HIT Scotland Emerging Talent conference in Edinburgh.

Scottish chef Nick Nairn warned that customer care is more important than chasing Michelin stars.

Nairn revealed that after gaining his first Michelin star in 1991 he became "more interested in veal bones, caviar and truffles" and lost sight of his customers.

"I started cooking for guides, not customers - I'd forgotten about hospitality," he said.

"Hospitality is about looking after people, bringing them together and making them happy," he added.

Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland, told delegates that staff training was not a cost but an investment; but he warned that it was effective only if employees were motivated and valued.

"A well-trained, qualified, but demotivated person [is no more valuable] than an untrained but committed individual," he told delegates.

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