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Ti: Undercover boss UK - Best Western

Post 1

Titania (gone for lunch)

Now, here's - oh wait, I only had to use Tab once to get to the posting window. I automatically tapped it twice, because the first Tab would get you to a link to House Rules.


Anyway, what I was going to say is that this is a business I'm well acquainted with, having w*rked for more than 30 years in the hotel and restaurant business.

First off, I was quite baffled to notice how one of the main goals of one of the hotels seemed to trick the Best Western inspector into believing they've made improvements to rooms where the inspector had found the standard to be below the requirements set by BW.

But maybe it's different when the hotel you w*rk for is only part of a booking system (as I've understood it) rather than part of a big hotel company.

Because the companies I've w*rked for (three so far) our main goal as staff was always about making sure our customers were satisfied with our level of service, and the standard of our hotel rooms.

Our efforts were never prompted by a desire to look well to the 'mystery guest' inspections made by an external company to evaluate each hotel every year, although we'd carefully consider the observations said 'mystery guest' had reported.

The next thing to surprise me was that the undercover boss expected the breakfast head of department to know exactly what it meant to have the BW sign on the outside wall of the hotel.

He should have talked to the reservations department or - if this was a hotel with minimal staff - the front desk staff, who'd probably be manning the front desk, the switchboard *and reservations.

Oh wait - the BW is handling some of the reservations (30% I think), but not all. I think many customers still prefer to place a phone call directly to the hotel in order to make a reservation.

And then how surprised he was to find out how low the wages are. The hotel chain I currently w*rk for is usually considered to make quite a good operating profit compared with other hotel chains - and yet, one third of the revenue goes to salaries and the belonging taxes. All in accordance with the agreements made with the trade unions.

Because our customers expect good service. If they're not happy, they will not be staying with us again, and they certainly won't recommend us to their friends/colleagues.

While a lot of the staff at our head office have been recruited from our hotels (nasty habit that, stealing the best employees) many of the rest have no branch experience.

I've long wished it was mandatory for all HO staff to spend one week as a trainee in various departments in our hotels.

But then, I consider I don't need it myself.


Because, before being drafted to the HO, I w*rked for 18 years as:

Switch board operator
Front office staff
Executive secretary
Financial controller

I've seen the customers up close, the business up close, and the figures up close.

Ti: Undercover boss UK - Best Western

Post 2

You can call me TC

The same old story. Some busybody comes and criticises without asking why things are done the way they are. He then proceeds to remove the heart of the company and wonders why business drops.

The view from below is just as clear in my experience. To get the bottom line right, you have to work on the details.

I hope all this doesn't end up with you out of a job.

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Ti: Undercover boss UK - Best Western

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