Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi talks to CN about Brexit and what the UK hospitality industry can do to make up the international lag.
CN: Is the UK business events & hospitality industry reaching its full potential?
AP: We’re lagging behind to tell the truth. There’s a long way to go. In general, England was a by-word for bad hospitality, particularly when my grandfather was making his mark and transforming the landscape. We haven’t moved on that much since. We have lots of small businesses and don’t really have those necessary centres of hospitality excellence.
When you’re working in the hospitality industry you are everyone’s equal. No need to tug the forelock. It is a professional role and those who work there should take pride in it.
CN: Does Brexit threaten the event and hospitality industry’s key source of labour supply from eastern Europe and the Baltics?
AP: I’m a Brexiteer, so I hope not. It is hard to know. The state of the UK post-Brexit is amorphous, so we have no idea what will happen. But I’m a firm believer that the government can see the benefits. I have a wholesale bakery that depends on that. I would be surprised if that relationship stops, but am not completely reassured yet.
CN: What are some of the most common marketing mistakes venues make?
AP: The most common one is over-promising and under-delivering. They say a picture tells a thousand words, but that is not always true these days. One has to be honest and realistic about what one can and can’t do.
In your marketing, of course you want to burnish your proposal, but not to the point where it is unrecognisable with the reality. I have to tell people that a lot professionally. Recognise what you have and maximise your possibilities within that niche.
One of the big problems with the internet is that it allows one to over promise and under-deliver. The medium encourages it. I would resist that temptation.
A lot of potential customers are disappointed on their first physical introduction to a location because of how it has been described in marketing literature. A lot of potential customers are put off by initial contact by the person they first deal with. Those are the two ways you can best ensure good revenue and capture as many enquiries as you possibly can.