It will come as no surprise that the festive period is one of the busiest of the year for hard-working professionals within the hotel and hospitality sector. Undoubtedly, it’s challenging but in my opinion it’s also a time when staff both individually and as teams can shine. These coming weeks offer the perfect opportunity for ambitious and motivated chefs and their kitchen team, restaurant, front-of-house and house-keeping staff to deftly demonstrate their skills. It’s a chance to uphold the highest standards of service and to project that all-important ‘can do’ attitude for guests.
Of course, beyond the foyer there are many other professionals behind closed doors fulfilling roles that are equally vital in delivering a seamless operation for guests within destinations like the stylish Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Mile Edinburgh. Revenue management, engineering, marketing and IT are all very much part of the heady ‘back office’ mix of our industry.
At Radisson, we take great pride in providing staff with access to on-going professional training. Individuals are encouraged to develop through ‘on the job’ vocational training, undertaking formal qualifications and/or applying for the likes of invaluable HIT scholarships. A cascading mentoring system further engages our 70+ personnel across all departments, ensuring the fundamentals of ‘best hospitality practice’ are imparted to all.
Despite this, I personally believe that hospitality and hotel management continues to be undervalued or at least understated as a rewarding career option. Scotland’s competitive hotel and hospitality industry offers roles far beyond the all-important fundamentals of extending a warm welcome at reception, attentively waiting on tables, deftly preparing a drink and expertly making a bed.
At a time when our sector still awaits the outcome of the swirling mists of Brexit, I firmly believe we can ill-afford to turn down the volume of the drum that bangs out the message of diverse roles ready to be fulfilled within an industry so vital to Scotland’s economy. These are careers both wide and varied. In a modern hotel environment, essential back-office skills like engineering and accountancy are just as important as the industry’s multitude of customer facing roles.
The likes of Scottish Tourism Alliance, Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and Gary Maclean of City of Glasgow College are among many committed to further enhancing and celebrating standards of professional service in the sector. Indeed, celebrated chefs like Gary can attest to the innumerable skills and years of on the job training demanded to carve out a successful and rewarding career in a kitchen. In accruing such industry knowledge and skills, many in our industry have almost unrivalled opportunities to travel the world.
I am aware too of my own responsibilities to develop skills and to nurture and retain in-house talent. In a competitive industry, in my opinion it’s imperative staff in all roles feel empowered and recognise that they can grow within the business.
Just like in many occupations, in the hotel and hospitality sector individuals who aspire to progress quickly will benefit from projecting a calm demeanour, a positive attitude towards continually learning and interacting with guests and an ability to multi-task.
Those attributes are extremely helpful in a fast-moving, exciting and yes, demanding industry in which I’d also argue there is no proverbial ‘glass ceiling’, for this is a sector in which individuals with the talent and tenacity can quickly assume considerable responsibility within diverse parts of the business. I am proud that my staff epitomise the talent, energy and diversity within Scotland’s hotel sector.
For example, Dasline Muvwanga in our revenue team is a young mum who commutes daily from Glasgow and whose ambition and talent in the industry is clear. Last year Dasline was recipient of the highest achieving student award of the HOSPA Revenue Management course. Melanie Nocher is another making her mark, having secured an internal promotion to manage Edinburgh Radisson Collection. Moreover, in recent years a number of staff have received coveted HIT scholarships to advance their skills.
Our recent appointment of Celso Amor further reflects the level of ambition possessed by many in our sector. The young Spaniard made the decision to relocate to Edinburgh to further develop his flair for cocktail-making and now offers guests of our Epicurean Bar a taste of his stylish creations.
Consequently, if the festive period is demanding for the hotel and hospitality sector, it is also a time when there’s the opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the diversity of talent this industry continues to attract and nurture.
Richard Mayne, Radisson Collection Edinburgh