I love the hospitality business with a passion; I cannot imagine being involved in any other business, but equally the frustrations it brings are many. Sometimes it feels like we have been on a rollercoaster ride. Thankfully it is rare for us to have unhappy guests, in the main our guests return often and are truly lovely, but when we do on occasion have a tricky one we try very hard to put the problem right, but we can only do so if they tell us at the time- e mailing or writing after the event is not an ideal situation, especially if they haven’t enjoyed their restaurant experience as they’ve already eaten the meal!!
I always think too that when people do feel compelled to write with a complaint they always need to have a justification for doing so and thus the complaint often takes on enormous importance, so much so that the establishment gets the blame for ruining their day, holiday, week off, etc, etc- whatever happened to a little perspective? People have been left dead and homeless due to recent worldwide events, our soldiers are fighting for their country and being wounded or worse for us in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, people are dying of starvation in Africa and so whilst I do not want to trivialize complaints, is the beef not cooked quite to someone’s liking or no salmon at breakfast time (due to the delivery driver being caught in a traffic jam, due to an accident) really such a big deal? They are important points, but whatever happened to tolerance? Is it just me? Am I becoming a jaded hotelier who is getting worn down by people’s attitudes to the service industry?
Whilst I am mentioning the service industry, and reminiscing about better days gone by, what ever happened to good manners? I remember the days, (because I’m old, or certainly feel world weary today) when if you applied for a job and were lucky enough to gain an interview you arrived, on time, looking smart and prepared, or if you did not want to be interviewed you politely called to say so…… not anymore it would seem. Prospective staff now think nothing of sending a CV, often badly presented and littered with spelling mistakes, arrange to have an interview and then simply don’t turn up and don’t have the politeness to call. I’m not just talking about young people or applicants for the lower end of the pay scale jobs, oh no, applicants for sous chefs, assistant managers and restaurant managers are also culpable- my faith in people, good manners and high standards has been sorely tested recently….. especially this morning when one of our chefs arrived late for breakfast service and then burnt all the sausages! I know there are great people out there, just the sort who would fit in well at TerraVina, who are passionate about what they do and who have personal pride in their jobs… so please can you get in touch as we would love to meet you.
Last week I mentioned that I was cross with one of our suppliers- the problem does now seem to have been sorted out satisfactorily, but not before I had to e mail them and their initial response was certainly not a good example of customer care- however, the matter has been resolved. But, don’t even get me started on the ice machine still not working properly after four attempts to fix it in a three month time frame- I’m not sure what running a hotel does for my blood pressure but it can’t always be a healthy career choice, but that said I wouldn’t have it any other way (probably!)
Till next week when we are off to the castle- very exciting!