Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of The Hospitality Business. We provide
General comments and items on the Hospitality
business. There's talk of some things we do ourselves,
and some things we see others doing and adopt ... or
swear that we'll never do! And because we travel
ourselves as part of our training business, we
see plenty of other hotels to learn from.
|Articles and tips on this subject||updated|
|4543||Saturday morning at Well House Manor|
Lovely autumn Saturday morning at Well House Manor. I'm on breakfast duty - the smell of fresh baked bread and bean-to-cup coffee, the pleasant chat with guests as we make new friends and welcome back well established ones.
I do enjoy doing breakfasts ... though ...
|4521||Should we get an AA or Visit Wiltshire hotel assessment?|
We chat / work with other accommodation providers around the UK to exchange experiences and best practise - and one of the Facebook groups was discussing the ranking / rating (star) system and whether it's useful to apply. Here's what I posted there - worth sharing:
We are not listed / inspected. We ...
|4321||Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable?|
I see from the press that a hotel in Blackpool charges £100 to guests who post poor reviews of them online, and that the hotel is rated as number 858 of 894 hotels in the town. My cynic's view is that they might be finding it a goor way to raise extra money, especially as they're quite a cheap ...
|4232||Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy|
Yes, I want you to stay at Well House Manor - but only if you'll enjoy it; I really don't want to sell rooms to people who won't overall be happy with what they have bought - not only would we end up with a disappointed customer, but we also risk bad reviews. We risk damage being done ("room was trashed") ...
|4202||Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons|
When I attend events these days, I take a professional look at how they're organised - from the presentation right through to the back-room issues. I was in the town hall in Oxford yesterday for the Railfuture annual conference and first and foremost it was great to see so many people (147, I understand) ...
|4051||On reading a new hotel review|
Most of visitors are with us on business. They don't tip, they don't review us on the review sites, they arrive late and they want early breakfast. And we love them - they're what we're set up for, so they're naturally easy for us to look after and they're thoughtful in letting us know if they will be ...
|4033||Official Star ratings for hotels - still worth having?|
Very interesting question that's come up on Facebook between a number of us slightly different Hotels and B&Bs ... the sort that have been gutsy enough to apply to appear on 4 in a bed, and have been quirky enough to be selected!
"Are you officially graded? We are graded 4 star but have decided ...
|3988||Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor|
I'm not usually one for Company Christmas Dinners, but the one we had in December was the exception, and it's made not by the food, not by the place, not by the season ... it's made by the people. Truely, we have an exceptional team at Well House Manor who are really great to work with.
|3909||Every Customer Counts|
A single room, booked for a single night last night, by someone who found us online and of whom we've not heard before, working for a company that's new to us.
What's the value of us serving that customer well? Multiple choice question:
(a) About £30.00
|3838||Guest review - Well House Manor, Melksham|
Well House Manor has been open for six years. And it's good to see our hotel continuing to get good reviews and feedback. Our Sunday morning checkout / receptionist feed back:
"All the guests said they had a very pleasant and comfortable stay and [xxx] commented that they travel a lot and enjoyed ...
|3832||A busy day at Well House Manor - so come in and make it even busier!|
By 8 O'Clock in the morning, it sometimes feels that the day is half done. That's certainly the case at Well House Manor on the "early shift", where the two hours from opening shortly after 6 a.m. through breakfast from 7 a.m. to early departures at 8 a.m. mean that whoever's on duty needs ...
|3743||Sunday - no longer a day of rest|
Well ... yesterday was one of the busiest days I can recall, and it was a Sunday. We've moved a very long way from the UK (and our business) being Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
There are - normally - a couple of compromises to it being a "weekend" day on Sunday - such as breakfast starting at 08:00 rather ...
|3660||A Pivotal Incident - learning how to welcome your guests|
It's odd what little incident can turn out to be a "pivotal", isn't it? What's just a tiny happening, a couple of words spoken by one person and then forgotten by them can influence the whole future for someone else.
I picked up some course delegates from Bristol Airport late one night in 2005 ... ...
|3309||Tipping Policy - Well House Manor|
The other night, I think I spent more that I have ever spent before on a meal for two three of us - Lisa, myself, and Zyliana asleep in her cot; and when the bill arrived at the meal end, there's an extra line printed on the bottom showing how much a top of 15%, 18% and 20% would be. I can understand ...
|3164||Brown - or Mrs Sally Brown, accountant from Whitstable?|
Mr and Mrs Brown, and Mr and Mrs Roberts, are staying at Well House Manor for a weekend in a month or two's time. It was Mrs Brown who called, and as I spoke with her and filled in her details on our booking form it all seemed very formal.
When we came to taking details to confirm the booking, it became ...
|3147||Hotel star ratings - towards a better system of review|
"Star Ratings at hotels face the axe" says a headline in the Daily Express.
"Hotel star ratings are to be scrapped because they are 'out of date' it emerged yesterday. Instead, guests will rely on consumer reviews on the Internet. [snip] Tourism minister John Penrose said the rating system is 'too ...
|1161||A contrast in room rates and facilities|
This week is another great opportunity for me to see how others do it. Efficient, regular, reasonable-standard chain hotels usually 'do' me when I'm away training, with no need to research ahead, but here in Leek there aren't any of the 'regulars' so I've stayed at the Peak Weavers for one night, at ...
|2879||Night Porter and reception - 24 hours a day?|
We're a "small hotel" and we don't have a member of staff on reception / service 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. We are available (on call) at the press of a button while you're staying with us, and will be with you within a few minutes if you need us. It would only be practical for us to go the ...
|2936||The service that customers should receive|
No matter what's going on behind the scenes, it's my view that customers should receive a consistent, logical, easily understood and ethical service.
"Oh - he's talking hotel again" I hear you say. Yes - but I came across an example on a forum that's rail related that got me thinking along these lines. ...
|2724||Escapee Grandparents welcome - Henfield and Melksham|
For the last couple of nights, I stayed at a B&B in Henfield. ("Where's Henfield", I hear you ask). A big change from the Holiday Inn Express at Dublin Airport where I had spent the previous two nights ... and of course a comparison would be like comparing chalk and cheese. But I love the variety ...
|2593||Food and drink launch|
The Melksham Food and Drink Festival, 2010, was launched at Well House Manor this morning. The vital stuff:
• Waitrose was announced as the 'lead' sponsor (I hope I have that term right), with Leekes also being a major sponsor of the event ...And other sponsors are sought too; if you have food ...
|2303||Turning potential customers away|
I want happy customers ... which is why I turned down a golden booking opportunity a few minutes ago.
"Have you got a single room for tonight". Err - all of our rooms are double / twin, but we routinely let them as singles ... and we have rooms tonight, but we're full tomorrow night so it would be ...
|2283||Everyone is in the customer relations business|
It's so important that everyone who represents a business represents it well - from 'The Boss' right through to the weekend help. The thought has struck me this weekend - not because of our own business (where I hope that every single one of us is fairly well on the ball) but because of various places ...
|2007||Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival|
"We've risen from 3 employees to 44 in 2 years". I was attending the launch of the Melksham Food & Drink Festival on Thursday morning, held in the Dining Room at Beechfield House, a country house hotel on the road between Melksham and Lacock. We had actually looked at Beechfield, very briefly, as ...
|1284||An update on the West Wilts show ...|
As you know, I attended the West Wilts show on behalf of Well House Consultants - very much with the view of getting us more out there and more known in the community - i.e. more of a marketing than a sales exercise. And as such, I intended to have a "train panel" or two there - so that I could pull ...
|922||Staying at your own hotel|
There's nothing like trying out the services of a business to learn about how that business works, and how it looks after its customers. And it's especially important for the owners of a business and their customer facing staff to know how they, their colleagues,and their service look to their users.
|1122||Hotel - online feedback forms compared|
When I'm travelling, I often stay at Travel Inn and Travel Lodge hotels overnight. I know I can book easily, check in late and be pretty sure of the room I'm getting at either chain.
Both companies follow up a day or two later with an online review which I'm happy to complete. I've just "done" Dundee ...
"Express" shouts the marketing material for the place I'm staying in for a couple of days in Cambridge, and even though I'm close to being laid up there with the flu, I thought I would nip down for a quite bite last night in the bar/restaurant; I needed food, and they're in a remote spot far from anywhere ...
|1002||Meet the neighbours|
Last night, we held our 'neighbours reception' at Well House Manor. There are 8 adjoining properties, another half dozen or so facing us across the road and some others very close by. Our place would probably have been replaced by 23 dwelling units but for their effective campaigns against planning ...
|1877||Guests doing a bunk?|
Hotel guests, due to check out this morning, not down from breakfast at the time they had estimated. All quiet - very quiet - on the bedroom front. Their car missing from the car park (I looked up the registration to check). Yes, I was concerned (but not overly so; as a matter of course, we have booking ...
|1792||All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses|
It's when the best-laid plans start to come together that you think "Yes - this is working" - and some of these best laid plans have come together for the public Python course just completed.
Quite apart from the courses (where things usually come together very well almost - dare I say it - as a matter ...
|1622||An extra step - victory from defeat|
No-one can get everything they do 100% right every time - things will go wrong, even in the most carefully assessed circumstances where all practical steps have been taken to reduce the risk. I feel secure, and fully knowledgeable of the line below which the quality of service that I get at the particular ...
|1548||Hotelympia - show report - the lighter side|
I enjoy trade shows. But, I confess, much more being on a booth than going around the show. So seeing "Hotelympia" on Tuesday and Wednesday was interesting, but I don't think I'll be going back next year - perhaps in 2010? And I found myself comforted by what I saw - that we do have most things right ...
|1445||Looking after you Christmas Customer Crowds|
A Christmas shopping trip to Swindon yesterday ... and so many chances to see how others do the "customer service" thing, with more lessons learnt on what to avoid than what to emulate!
Our initial stop in a big chain of computer stores, where we have a business account; just a few odds and ends needed, ...
|1421||Castle Lodge Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire|
I couldn't quite place the accent ... but it turned out that Leon came from Groningen, the largest town in northern Holland. In the UK for six months, his day job as a student is to be working on some sadly neglected clay pits / or natural water area just north of the town on Ely - that's where I am ...
|1422||Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer|
Looking for a speaker? If you are an organizer of talks and lectures for groups such as
* Rotary, Round Table, Probus
* Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce, CBI
* Women's Institute or Townswomen's Guild
* Parish and town councils, senior schools and colleges
* Access groups and specialist ...
|1248||How NOT to oversell a hotel|
[Part of my report into that strange day - 26th June 2007 - index]
It's 4 star, it has a posh Bradford-on-Avon address, and it has "Best" in its chain name. But if this is the best that B-o-A can do, as seen at last night's FSB Regional meeting, then Melksham can do far better. An excellent ...
"I am, you are, he is ...". The conjugation of verbs is something which I remember from Latin and French classes at school with, it must be said, a degree of distaste. I never was one for languages.
"I am amply proportioned, you are well built, he is fat ...". A number of jests have been made over ...
|1084||Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events|
Whether you're running a small company with a handful of staff, or a multi-million pound operation, you've still got the same commercial issues to look after, and virtually the same set of legal requirements on you with regards so staff, business operations, taxes and so on. There are some, limited, ...
|1046||Bounce, bounce, bounce|
Is it frustrating to make a phone call and to transferred elsewhere, or to email someone and get an "out of office" with a note your email has been forwarded? No - a single transfer is acceptable on the lines of "I'm putting you through to Lisa who can take your room details" or "I've forwarded your ...
|1048||Getting rid of people - hotel techniques|
"Get rid of her first, then deal with the three men"
You can imagine the line from a Hollywood movie, can't you ... but this is Melksham, last Thursday evening. And the line was overheard by one of our friends from her seat in the restaurant, eating alone and already feeling somewhat uncomfortable. ...
|988||You should think you're first in a hotel room|
"We want our rooms to appear to be so clean, fresh and new that each guest feels he's the first to use them". A laudable target, but realistically one that's not going to be achievable for every single letting. Never the less, I was shocked to be asked by a delegate this morning "did Axxxxx Dxxxxx stay ...
As I drove from Melksham to Leek this morning, I was catching up on thoughts and ideas and news - one ear to the radio, two eyes on the road, and a mind flitting from C programming - next week's course - to the case I'll be composing for "The Melksham Train" for Tom Harris, the new Transport Minister, ...
|774||Bed and Breakfast, or Hotel?|
To stay at a good small hotel, or at a good bed and breakfast?
We're in the process of setting up our business hotel in a grand old house that was formerly run as a Bed and Breakfast, and the changes are substantial. Here's a comparision / sanity check that I put together to highlight where the two ...
If you are looking for a complete course and not just a information on a single subject, visit our Listing and schedule
Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in
. We run
throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and
at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England.
It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses -
even if you live in a different
country or continent to us
We have a technical library of over 700 books on the subjects on which we teach.
These books are available for reference at our training centre. Also
available is the Opentalk
Forum for discussion of technical questions.