What the difference in a 5* makes

Image Today 12_53_28Last week, for various reasons, I had to go to a number of 5* hotels. What was interesting is that although all were top hotels along Park Lane, there was a considerable variable in service standards but all elite experiences. It was a salutary lesson in that no matter what – It is our team that represent the brand in reality, something we at Inn or Out events are acutely aware of.


It made me wonder how, no matter what is spent on the fabric, the facility and the position, i.e. view or historic building, how these businesses cannot see it is all wasted if the same investment is not made with the team and their training. If they don’t deliver the service standards then quite frankly the rest is fluff, sparkles and surface dressing.


It was on the 28th floor of one bar where I was served nuts with my cup of tea. I then had coffee and was given white sugar, not brown, and when I finally had a G&T, it was served in a large wine glass, not even the massive bowl glasses you use if wanting to use a stemmed glass. I asked for it to be changed to a High ball, but then was served the same wine glass G&T to my guest, who was equally puzzled and asked for it to be changed.


This experience was in stark contrast to the Corner Modern 5* on Park Lane, where although not a wow experience, it was efficient, courteous and perfectly executed order, an entirely good experience. The last bar, where I was dining that evening, certainly gave me the exceptional WOW experience, not because of the lush surroundings, but because of the team. They were all immaculately turned out and above all the most charming group of staff I have ever met. They were, of course, efficient but more importantly made sure it was a special experience and made you feel very welcome as if inviting you into their own home. I was genuinely delighted with the whole experience.


So how does this translate to an event company? Well for us it shows the whole experience is important, not just the stunning food, the quality beverages or the glamorous gilding. We know the difference is also the interaction with the team – that’s what makes the experience magical. Immediate and efficient response to enquiries, accuracy of delivering what‘s expected but most critical the delicious food served by a team that really care.Image Today 12_53_37


The parent company of Inn or Out has strong measurable systems in place, we use these unique tools when completing team training. We embark on number of programmes to make sure the team know just how important the right attitude and good knowledge is.  Its successful comes from being convenient to the teams and something they feel they can really engage with and use to develop their own skills – at their own pace.


So for us at Inn or Out Events, where we place considerable emphasis on the people and the training, we can make sure our improvements and success are very tangible and measurable-with the ultimate reward being part of the’ best company elite awards’ and being recognised by our clients as the best.


Wendy Bartlett-Owner Director