Hotel general managers are getting scruffier, according to a new survey by hotel marketing and training consultant Great Potential.
John Gallery, a former hotelier and a partner in the York-based consultancy, conducted the survey after seeing a senior manager in a three-star hotel working in jeans and trainers.
And the 36 managers who responded to the 60 questionnaires he faxed agreed that dress standards had deteriorated among both hotel staff and guests.
They described colleagues in frayed collars and cuffs, stained jackets and ties, badly fitting suits and shocking colour combinations. One female manager even worked in a shell suit.
But managers contacted by Caterer dismissed these views as exaggerated, although Chris Hansen, of Edinburgh's Roxburghe hotel, conceded that a good suit could be spoiled by a lack of attention to detail - he particularly dislikes scruffy shoes.
Marco Vismara, of the Holiday Inn at Gatwick Airport, noted that tailor-made suits were more affordable 10-15 years ago, but said that clothes were not a problem as long as they were clean and ironed. He added that staff from areas such as London and Edinburgh seemed to have a more traditional and classical clothes sense.
Despite a shift from the traditional morning suit to the less-formal lounge suit with coloured shirts, Patrick Keane, of the Willow Bank hotel in Fallowfield, Manchester, also disputed this trend towards sloppiness. He attributed the increasing incidence of stained clothes to the hands-on approach now adopted by general managers.
by Angela Frewin
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 30 March - 5 April 2000