Your Best Choice

Whatever we are today is the result of the choices we had made at some point of time joining catering college after the PUC or the hotel directly was perhaps the most crucial step towards this pro-journey. Having made that, why not give it hundred percent and make it to the top. There should be no choice in between. Mr. A Madhok had a clear choice: continue a comfy Vice presidents job with a huge group or struggle to strike own. He dreamt big and went on to own a chain of hotels. He is a role model for many talented youngsters. We are trying to highlight these special young ones in our newsletter called Budding hoteliers.

The choice of providing exceptional or mere service is also our choice. Happy and satisfied guests tell wonderful stories praising your hotel. They make a hero out of you. A smart hotel     hinges on  clever decisions and careful research, all depends upon how we groom ourselves  and  choose of our very important constituents of success . Lets glance at few choices so to speak …

Choosing our Talent

Wise people say that talent is not inherited but acquired .A chef is a true  experimenter  creating new recipes brushing aside little frustrations  to achieve big breaks. In this process he is fine tuning his culinary talent. Further makes the choice of show casing his talent to the whole world. Star Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and now chef Ajoy Joshi are the leading luminaries. Their shows are such a rage. They made that choice of going the extra mile. The process of nurturing ones talent is painfully slow and expensive .The chef creates that euphoria extending beyond mere cuisine. His talent in presenting the food to get that wow factor is a fine art. He is also a true hurdler out smarting road blocks to net those rare ingredients .The unique recipe creation is his goal and will go any length to achieve that.

Play or toil endlessly

One of the biggest choices is how much time do we need to chip in for work and personal side? Its tough .To quote Mr. Sanjay Sethi  “ Life is a roller coaster! If you don’t enjoy it, then there is some thing wrong”. He emphasis – play hard and work harder, but enjoy. In a playful mood we tend to think differently, like an experience architect we start innovative methods for our guests .Recently the house keeper of a Bangalore hotel created a fine silk cover for the mineral water bottle from waste silk trims , the guests were flattered to see silk  kurtis even for a bottle!!  We like our guests to play and enjoy when we are ourselves having fun at work. The rub off definitely works, give and take policy I guess.

Fair or unfair practices

Short charged is a very rare word in our industry, the guests take it for granted that we don’t cheat! So there is no choice actually for us. Why then some unscrupulous hoteliers choose to  cheat the guests; which is pure short term, the result comes back faster than an Australian  boomerang .Cost control is fine but cost cheating is suicidal. Adulterating ingredients to reduce the cost only leads to poor taste and quality .The guests then make their only choice – move it – to the competition.  As we know it takes eons to create a good brand and establish trust, hence fair play is of paramount importance.

Class or Mass

Inadvertently we get into the maze of number building .Is it the correct choice. Just filling rooms, not adhering to the class can be costly and bleed us internally .Not only the revenue could suffer due to low ARR but unwanted guests could slip thru. During these turbulent times some hotels are giving ridiculous deep discounts catapulting the operational difficulties in to a further spin The money generated with this kind of business is not good enough issues like quality and attrition come to the fore .You need to be hurdler to overcome and tackle marketing initiatives. Collaborate with the travel agents in a classy manner or tie up with Cruise liners to get the cream of the guests This leads us to the next level and away from the mass section. Like we know guests do recognize exceptional service and are willing to pay more happily.

Improving your profile

No time for further studies is the most common excuse we hoteliers give. I have been putting aside my choice of doing MBA for the last twenty years! The  ones who chip in extra get to the top much faster, no doubt it about. Take your senior mentors into confidence and get advise to sharpen the skills, whether studying further for Cornell MBA, CHA , what ever ….

Care Giver’s Choice

Being the boss is not easy, either the staff look at you as a Hitler or a Mickey. Your choice is there fore understandably very tough, if you are the former, they leave in droves and attrition percentage climbs an all time high competing with the inflation.  Conversely if you are soft laziness and indiscipline rot sets in. Proactive team player with a directors skill is required.You need to give the centre stage to them for performing with little interference. Choice of playing different strokes for different people is a great strategy. Learning their problems and quickly helping with their challenges would serve the purpose. Our GM some time ago was a perfect director with right choice. He used to encourage all the staff to write down the problems and pass the wad list to his office. The HOD was of course kept in the loop. All critical issues were called in for an audience while the smaller ones were deputed to the managers. Most often solved by the managers in a jiffy .The staff believed that even their minute stories were personally addressed by the boss. He was all time favorite hero. Would the staff make a choice of throwing in their lot behind such a wonderful leader? You can bet your hard earned monies please.

Finally as Edison said, “ I am only a little boy with a few pebbles in my hand looking at the ocean “ There are innumerable choices in the sea beckoning us to explore them. Lets make a perfect one, even if it should be a little failure, to brush it aside and avoid a big mistake later. Probably Choice is our only Brahma-Asthra…


The author is Venu Rao,
Peacock Group, Bangalore

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