Do you have a diplomatic manner? Is strategic thinking as well as hospitality something that comes natural to you? Do you get a buzz from making people happy? Does the former skills we just mentioned sound like you? If so, you could consider a career in hotel management. Michael Voigt general manager of The Arch London, spills the beans on what it take to manage a five-star boutique hotel.
Name: Michael Voigt
Job title: General Manager
Company: The Arch London
What does your job role entail?
I am General Manager of the 82 bedroom five-star boutique hotel The Arch London. Being General Manager of The Arch London means I look after the running of the operation to ensure everything runs smoothly. I also assess future objectives for the business.
Describe your working day or week?
I start the day around 7.30am by meeting and greeting our guests at breakfast. After this I have one to one meetings with the heads of departments and our suppliers. I greet guests all day and I do not leave until I know that everyone (staff and guests) is happy!
What key skills do you need to do your job?
The key skills you need are diplomacy, strategic thinking and common sense.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
My family is the reason I decided I wanted to be in the hotel business. My grandparents owned a hotel in Germany and I used to go there every day after school to help in the kitchen. Growing up in the business I developed a passion for hospitality as I loved the buzz and atmosphere of working in a hotel.
Best part of your job?
My team and our guests are the best part of my job. I love going to work and making people happy. My main goal every day is to make my staff and guests happy and create a nice environment to work and stay in.
Worst part of your job?
I eat too much! Hunter 486 has just launched a new menu developed by our Head Chef Gary Durrant and Henrietta Green; food and hospitality consultant, award-winning food writer and broadcaster. The new menu is inspired by ‘best of British’ recipes, ingredients and produce and we have tastings each week!
Most memorable moment at work?
At the weekend I received a text message from one of our doormen to tell me that we were number four on TripAdvisor. The team were so excited about it that they couldn’t wait to tell me.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
A course in Psychology would best suit my role. You need to be able to understand the needs of other people. You need to understand your staff and your guests, as the needs of the Head Chef to the Front of House to the guests are all very different. Understanding different people is useful.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
Absolutely, you need lots of work experience. You will only ever be taken seriously by your housekeeper if you have made beds yourself and you will understand what the chefs go through if you have been a Commis Chef yourself. I have experienced it all so I can relate to our staff.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job
Develop a true passion for the hospitality business and gain as much experience as possible in all the different areas of luxury hotels. Of course qualifications will help immensely too. Be prepared to work long hours in this exciting and rewarding industry.