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HOSPITALITY

The positive impact of professional leadership

The UK sector needs more qualified managers to fully exploit its growth potential

T

he pace of business life continues to accelerate, and managers could be forgiven for feeling that they

are less and less in control. There are a number of new challenges facing us – technological advances; determined competitors; increased red tape; and the growing demands of customers are just some of the daily issues with which managers now have to contend. In a broader context, there are many global issues which impact on operations, with security and environmental responsibility being two keys areas of interest. Managers in the hospitality industry

Hotels in the capital have experienced a healthy start to the year

London hotels report Q1 growth

First quarter figures show 10 per cent RevPAR rise

are not immune from any of these pressures. Indeed, it could be argued that they are more susceptible to their influence than managers in other sectors. The global nature of the industry, its reliance on disproportionately high labour levels – together with a propensity for rapid staff turnover – its vulnerability to outside forces and its focus on customer service are all factors which create a complex and challenging environment for hospitality managers across all sectors. Recent research suggests that to maintain its competitiveness

PHILIPPE ROSSITER is chief executive of the IOH. Leisure Opportunities is a member benefit of the IOH.

on the global stage, the UK will need more professionally qualified managers and leaders. Furthermore, if the growth potential of organisations is to be exploited fully, the post- recession environment will require a stronger focus on talent development to enable managers to become more self-reliant and innovative. In this context, professionally qualified leaders can have a positive impact on organisational performance, and evidence suggests that managers with such a background are more likely to be retained and developed by employers. Research from People 1st highlights the current low level of

qualified managers within the industry, emphasising how important it is to address this major weakness and potential impediment to future growth. As a result, the industry has suffered for many years from a very weak attitude towards CPD, illustrated by the relatively low adherence to professional bodies. Therefore, despite a small number of entrepreneurs and

certain industry 'role models', the overall image projected by the sector remains one of low skills, limited opportunities and poor professionalism. While much can (and must) be learned

'on the job', experience must go hand in hand with an ethos of CPD. Only when this is embedded fully into the industry's culture will significant improvements begin to be seen.

8

By Pete Hayman

London's hotel operators have reported an increase of more than 10 per cent in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for Q1 2010, according to new research from Deloitte. Compared with the same

period last year (Q1 2009), operators in the capital have seen occupancy grow by nearly 5.5 per cent to 76.2 per cent and average room rates increase by 4.5 per cent to £123. Regional hotels, however,

have continued to struggle, according to the business

advisory firm. RevPAR de- creased by 1 per cent in the first quarter, although occu- pancy grew by 3.4 per cent. Marvin Rust, hospitality

managing partner at Deloitte, said: "The start of 2010 has seen hoteliers in the capital build upon growth reported in the final quarter of 2009. "Performance was, however,

affected by Easter being a week earlier this year, as the drop in business travel reduced RevPAR in the last week of the first quarter. Without this, London's performance would undoubt- edly have been stronger."

Zaza acquires Hertfordshire site

Independent Italian restau- rant operator Zaza is to open its third site in the south-east as part of a larger expansion programme for the brand. The Hertfordshire-based

operator has acquired the former Jimmy'z on 27 High Street, Bushey, through the London-based property agent, Davis Coffer Lyons. Operated by Terry

Greenhill and Ferdi Pacelli, Zaza specialises in Italian

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food and currently trades from two Grade II-listed sites in Rickmansworth and Ruislip, both in Hertfordshire. The operator has taken a

new 30-year lease from landlord Wellington Pub Company at a £36,250 rent. The Bushey property,

which is located close to the town church, has been restored to retain its village feel and will have outdoor seating for up to 90 diners.

© Cybertrek 2010

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