Karl Wilson, General Manager of the Bull Hotel in Gerrards Cross, talks about all things hospitality, sharing his experience and knowledge with us.
Why did you decide to work in hospitality?
I have been working since I was 16, and as a teenager the easiest place to get a job was in bars and restaurants, starting with washing up! I do think it’s important to start with the basics. I realised that I both enjoyed it and was good at it, and decided to study Hospitality at University.
What have you always enjoyed about the hospitality industry?
I enjoy the variation the hospitality industry offers. It’s both challenging and rewarding with every day being different. As a General Manager you have a real opportunity to make a difference to both customers and their experience, but also to staff and their work satisfaction.
What made you apply for this job?
I was contacted by an agency for this role, and as I knew of the hotel and its reputation, I was instantly interested. When I came to the hotel for my interview, it was clear that Sarova Hotels has a good philosophy and work culture. They are passionate about customer service and keep investing in the business, not making it all about the short term profit but long term business opportunities as well. They also care about their staff, and realise that it’s the staff that makes a difference in the business. This is what I want to be involved in, and, as a General Manager, I knew that my beliefs would fit in with Sarova and I could make a difference to our customers, staff and overall business.
You have worked for several companies; what is unique about Sarova Hotels?
Sarova is different as it is a small family owned and run company. Rather than having to deal with all the layers of bureaucracy often needed in International companies, you have direct relationship with the owners, which makes decision making faster and our work more efficient. Things happen quickly and this gives fabulous opportunities to impact the business. However, you are also left to run your hotel as your business; they empower and trust their General Managers which, as a hotelier, is what you want.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Dealing with people, be it customers or staff; this can be most rewarding. I know as a young manager how much my General Managers influenced me and my development. I was given this unique opportunity, and I want to give back to my staff, by helping them develop and grow. My staff’s success is indeed my success.
What are your plans for the future?
We are going through a very exciting time at The Bull; we keep investing to improve our product, whilst my team has nicely settled in with a clear focus on further developing the business. Training and development is one of my main focus areas, so we get the best from all our staff, maximising their knowledge and skills.
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