Hospitality Malta 02 - Page 57

Charles Azzopardi & his management ‘credo’: “we were still recruiting people exuding a warm and friendly ap- proach but we were also more con- cerned that they would be good team players too,” he explained. “This ensures that the team spir- it would continue to deliver the qualities we are known for - a warm, friendly and professional disposition – so we preferred to employ people who knew their job well irrespective of nationality. Charles continued: “Additionally what was important for us was that during the full 16 months that we were renovating the hotel, we kept our staff on full salary. It’s family here. And this obviously reflects on the quality of service that the guest receives.” This reflects itself in the fact that guests and staff interact very well together like old friends, espe- cially if the visitors are regulars. during the full 16 months that we were renovating the hotel, we kept our staff on full salary. It’s family here. And this obviously reflects on the quality of service that the guest receives. HOSPITALITY MALTA He is clearly the soul and ethos of the hotel - friendly, hands-on, efficient. He has been with the Phoenicia for over 23 years, having starting out as sales and marketing director in 1994. So, what are his philosophies for managing and gaining success? • I think that in life it is better to keep things simple…..so that people can easily understand, be steadily behind you and deliver; • You must believe in your people. They are the ones who are delivering your level of service to your clients; • If they are good, happy, well trained, they deliver at the level the client expects; • That leads you to taking care of your clients - they are the ones paying every- one’s salary at the end of the day! • Clients are the reason we exist. Without them there is no hotel. • I believe in doing things differently. Be friendly, not stiff. Be inclusive, not exclu- sive. The client must feel this from the first step he or she walks into the hotel. There is no place for snobbery in the business of hospitality. • At the end of the day all this must be translated into delivering a return on your efforts. That’s why we’re in business after all. Like a three-legged stool, one leg significantly reflects the other. “If one were to look at the core values of what The Phoenicia was in the recent past and what Camp- bell Gray are proposing today, you will find quite a lot of com- monality,” explained Charles. “We both say our staff are our strength. We both say that we are here to ex- ceed client expectations and that every decision we take is in favour of the customer. Our priorities are the same and we are not try- ing to change each other. We’re just trying to make each oth- er better!” he added succinctly. Charles spelt the management con- cept for their Malta operation very clearly: “We will be offering a level of operation and design that is different. Campbell Gray have experi- ences across the globe, from London, to the Caribbean, even to Beirut … they bring all this knowl- edge with them. We have benefit- ted from this level of profession- alism to the overall experience of The Phoenicia that they brought with them – and it is new to these Is- lands. Everything they have done in the hotel makes a statement. And it can also be a costly one too. They have moved the hotel’s stand- ards upwards as well as the way of doing things from what they were up to these new levels… and that can spill over on to what the other sectors in Malta can do as they were never used to it too!” he concluded. SEPTEMBER | 2017 55