We met with Adam Rowledge, general manager at Georgian House Hotel, our Advisory Board Member and a speaker at Best Stay 2018.
Could you give your opinion on the latest hospitality trends?
There are two main areas to focus on. The first is food and beverage where we’re seeing much more of a trend towards plant-based dining with guests eating meat less frequently in particular and a more flexible approach to dieting than in previous years, that can be through something as simple as meat-free Mondays, pescatarianism, flexitarianism or just participating for example in Veganuary. In food and beverage specifically but also, in general, I think we’re seeing a move towards less formal dining in the market, obviously, there will still be a real need for more formal dining experiences but more relaxed and informal as well as experiential offerings are becoming more and more prevalent. The second area is technology and from this perspective, we need to look towards personalisation and artificial intelligence (AI). The guest experience at every touchpoint now needs to be more personalised than ever and AI has the power to help us achieve this.
What are the biggest challenges in your job today? What advice would you give to other hoteliers to approach these challenges?
Two of the biggest challenges today are reducing the cost of acquisition of business and talent management. Both are huge topics with no fixed answer on how to face them but in terms of the approach to doing so, you need to be open to doing things differently, break down your processes for everything and examine each step to identify where waste or errors are occurring and where value is being added to then take a really take a data-driven approach to decision making rather than relying on the way things have been done previously. In talent management, for example, this could be your attraction processes, training and development, reward and recognition, wellbeing etc.
There is a lot of talk lately about the lack of qualified staff. What, in your opinion, is the single best quality your employees can possess?
In the UK market, we face the challenge of cementing the hospitality industry as one of choice and due to the low unemployment figures and changing political landscape with Brexit on the horizon we have to work harder now than ever to attract and retain talent. The single best quality that an employee can possess is their attitude alongside willingness and ability to work hard as part of a team and to learn. I believe that there is a role in hospitality to suit almost anyone regardless of their initial level of skill or competence in an area and as long as we can identify what that is and give them the appropriate development, they have every chance of succeeding.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Best Stay?
It would be impossible to single out just one element of the conference as the programme is an excellent one and with the awards too I’m sure that it will be a fantastic few days. I’m looking forward to sharing and learning and finding solutions to tackle some of the challenges we face in the UK.
Get a chance to hear Adam speak at Best Stay 2018, grab your ticket today – register here.