We took 2 minutes out of Robin, our VP Finance, busy work schedule this week – and of course Euro 2020 watching to have a quick catch up with our VP Finance Robin Williams to see what hes been up to and how he now sees the industry recovering post Pandemic.
The news this week of double vaccinations enabling travel without quarantine was definitely a positive for the hotel and hospitality industry.
How are you Robin?
Busy – which is how I like it – we are supporting our hotels and always trying to be more efficient on the finance side. Not easy at times and throw in a Pandemic and it doesn’t make happy finance people but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are positive that we will get back to normal.
What’s your biggest frustration currently in the hotel industry?
The historically poor treatment of employees which has now come to a head with the shortage of immigrants from EU due to Brexit. It is proven that a well trained and well treated team is more efficient and cost effective than the constant turmoil of recruitment, training and performance management that low pay causes. We need to ensure we are looking after our teams and ensuring their development is our highest priority as well as looking after our guests. The two go hand in hand.
How has the industry changed for the better in the last 30 years?
It has to be the technology making it easier to control costs daily and reduce surprises at month end. No one likes a surprise and especially the finance team!
What positives can you take from the Pandemic?
Historically in the hotel industry its always been that people have to work at hotel sites or head offices but what the Pandemic has taught us is you can work remotely and it can be more efficient. We have gained more time as we have lost the travel time and we can just switch on – the downside can be that you just can’t switch off. In the finance team if you have decent systems then everything can be done remotely. That isn’t to say never going back into a hotel as nothing replaces the face to face contact as well as the buzz you get from being in a hotel.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Being with my family, visiting historic sites and BBQs with friends
Who’s going to win the Euros?
Well I did want Spain to win 😊 as I spent 16 years living and working there and still long to go back – however now its an Italy V England final – I hope England bring it home!