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Who is more important - the guest or the GM?

There is a heated discussion on the Luxury Hoteliers hospitality group for hotel professionals on linked in. It started with a rather stark article about a GM, who is selfish, egoistic, egocentric - well you get it. With this the discussion started.

There were some people who posted a quite balanced view - >>both are very important<<; but most "voted" for the guest, with reasons that there is no need for a GM without guests and alike.

Now, if you really think about it, the question itself is total nonsense. You are comparing apple with pears. The GM is managing the hotel, well - the guests are customers of the hotel - this comparison makes no sense.
Though it makes even less sense, if you think, that there was no concretization between an individual guest, a guest group, the target group of guests, "most guests" and so on.

Is a member of the senior management team more important as an individual guest? This is a question you could ask - if you are looking for example at a situation, when the hotel is booked out and the GM lives in a room.
And in most cases [well there are definitely some special guests] the GM can be given more importance. Why not - if the situation is professionally handled.

Further we need to change a bit the question, to keep the logic up: Are the decisions and opinions of GM more important of the ones of a group of [individual] guests.
This becomes more tricky - as you don't know the specific details. Are the guests in the targeted market group? Is the GM deciding rationally to strategically align the hotel?
But again - I would tend towards the GM - while not so strongly as before.

What does that have to do with bars? Well - especially nowadays, bars have specific concepts and bartenders might deny some requests of guests. It is an analog situation.

But does it not infringe into one thing which we all learned quite early in our hospitality career: The guest/customer is king!?


Let me say first of all, that I really hate this quote. I don't hate it for what it stands for - rather I hate it for what people [mostly guests] are interpreting it for.
Now everyone, who is a little bit more grown up [and doesn't have a king of a fairy-tale in mind] will now, that royals are tied to rigoros protocols - a long list of do's and don'ts.
Their code of conduct is stricter, than of anyone of us. Hence they would no act like jack-asses [like a lot of guests], just relying purely on their privileges, but would always keep their responsibilities and demeanor in mind.

Nobody thinks like that, when using "the guest is king" quote. People should say: "the guest is a dictator" - this would be a rather better reflection, of what they try to say...


I think, in hospitality history, this was never a so big problem as today. Because hospitality was always rather expensive and exclusive. But this has changed: hospitality was democratized!
And in this "silent revolution", things happened like in real revolutions: peasants wanted to feel like kings [without the behavior].

And this is the status quo!

Don't get me wrong - not all guests are like that. But where does it come from, that guests are demanding things with the justification, that they are the guests - they are the kings [or queens]?
They are requesting, that policies and procedures are changed of a venue, because they feel not comfortable with them...

Well - I am not against changes, nor am I against suggestions. I am just against the attitude, that it is a right of a guest to request for anything they can think of.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a lady night promotions - and a group of girls tried to take advantage out of it - all female guests were given 3 vouchers for drinks, but the respective guests insisted, that it was written [it wasn't] that until 12:00 am all drinks were free - and only after 12:00 they could use the vouchers. After they felt, that they were not right when I talked to them, they changed the tone and told me, that I should be generous, as this is what hospitality is all about - and that they would complain, because I kept on my standpoint. Guests are kings? Not like that - and not in my eyes.

Other examples:

Should a fine dining restaurant serve a burger [which is obviously not on the menu]?
I don't think so! Same applies for "popular" drinks like Long Island Iced Tea's and Blue Kamikaze.

Is a guest allowed to put his feet up [on another chair or on the table]?
Hell no! He can do this on the street, where he will be ending on, if he doesn't put his feet down.

And dress code - does a guest has the right to request for over-ruling the dress code?
Well- no! What is the reason behind a dress code, if you don't enforce it?

This said- there are always exceptions - and a good GM / manager does know, when it is time to step back a little. But this hasn't changed for decades. The rich and influentials were always allowed to eat whatever and where ever they liked. But this is not an exception of the written - because at the end, they will pay much more and also act differently as the democratic jackass besides of them.


For the Linked-In group: F*ck them! Yeah- I put this here on my blog, because I was so annoyed by the dumb repetitions [guest first...] - of most of them. They have only a head, to fill it with helium, to be able to walk upright! Really hate them so much!


Now if you read this here, you might think, that I am quite a horrible host of my bar. But surprise - I ain't! Usually I am the friendliest, accommodating and courteous person, you can find in a bar - however I like to be like this, because of my free will and not, because some donkeys think, they have the right for that.






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