We asked some of Scotland’s Top GM’s to give us the lowdown on their roles.
RICHARD MAYNE, GENERAL MANAGER – G&V, EDINBURGH
Tell us a little about yourself.
I joined Carlson Rezidor in 2015 when I became General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh. I then took on the new role of Cluster General Manager in June of this year, adding G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh to my portfolio alongside the Radisson Blu.
Prior to joining Carlson Rezidor, I was Regional Managing Director for Macdonald Hotels in Scotland, and General Manager of Westerwood Hotel and Country Club before that. I have worked in the industry ever since I graduated from University, where I gained an MA in Hospitality Management.
What drove you to choose your career path?
Growing up, my Mother had her own catering business, which I used to help out with on weekends. I’ve always had an interest in cooking so that side of things naturally appealed, however I found myself increasingly enjoying the client-facing, management aspect of the business. That’s when I knew I wanted to go into hospitality!
What do you actually spend the majority of your time doing?
I had a very pleasant dinner with the District Director for Carlson Rezidor, who invited me to meet with the Area Vice President. I was then flown out to Brussels to meet the Chief Operating Officer and HR Director. It was the ideal opportunity for the direction I saw my career going in and, crucially, the timing was right. The rest is history!
What are your average work hours?
Day-to-day, my role consists of overseeing all operations, strategy and marketing across both hotels and ensuring that we provide an exceptional experience for all of our guests. People development is a key part of my job, providing all staff with appropriate, targeted training to ensure we are delivering the very best service we can.
What misconceptions do people often have about your job?
Long hours and low pay!
How many hours do you normally work?
I work an average of 50 hours.
What do you do differently from your co-workers or peers in the same profession?
Not being afraid to ask for the help and opinions of my colleagues.
Delegating in a manner that allows others to develop and keeps them motivated.
I host a General Manager coffee morning each week, which I find invaluable. It helps me to gain feedback and communicate to a staff member from each department on what is happening throughout the hotel, in a more relaxed and informal setting. I also make sure that success is celebrated and shared with the team. For example, we recently celebrated a successful quarter with a special BBQ for staff and their families.
What’s the most enjoyable part of the job? What is the worst part of the job and how do you deal with it?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing staff develop and looking at new creative and innovative ways to elevate the levels of service that we offer to our guests. The worst part is sitting at my desk preparing reports – I’d much rather be out and about overseeing the properties and meeting our guests!
Some customers can undervalue the personal commitment of our staff to continually go the extra mile. Having watched countless documentaries on hotels and restaurants and having seen how wrong things can go when service is less than perfect, I really appreciate the extra planning that goes in to ensure each customer is made to feel special. Those not in the industry might not realise the effort that goes in!
Over the years, I’ve learnt that customers really value the personal service and little individual touches that make each guest feel truly looked after; a birthday cake in your room, a bottle of fizz when you are celebrating a special occasion. Cleanliness and attention to detail is always very important, too.
What are you proudest of or what was your proudest moment?
I’m always proudest whenever a member of my team gets a hard-earned promotion. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching someone realise their potential and knowing you have played a part in it. If I had to pinpoint particular career highlight, though, it would be leading the team that won Hotel of the Year and winning General Manager of the Year for the EMEA region.