What is it like to work as a "hotel manager"? Describe a typical day.
FS: Totally great and never boring. My day starts by arriving at the hotel and first getting an overview by checking emails, taking a tour of the property and having our regular "Morning Meeting". After that, it's always different. There are many different topics and appointments. It could be personnel topics such as employee reviews or networking meetings, talking to guests, changes in operations, budgeting phases or or. For a hotel manager, the beginning of the workday can be planned, but the end cannot.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
FS: Keeping the atmosphere in the hotel. It is always possible that a crisis appears in one of the departments. The workload is always fluctuating and there are many different characters working together. Keeping a team motivated and enthusiastic over the long term is challenging. It's about harmony and being a team player so that at the end of the day it all works out and we do a great job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
FS: The variety, working with the staff and the guest contact.
We've been living in a pandemic for two years. What is it like to be responsible for a hotel during this time?
FS: Personally, I find it exciting. I'm glad that I already have some experience, so that I am able to lead the hotel through it. The pandemic has thrown all the previous rules out the window. The experience we gained over the years, f.e. when do guests come, how do bookings work, the whole system "hotel business" now became a big surprise. This period has many special features, for example, extremely strong summer months or, on the other hand, business at zero, which has never been there before. To cope those extremes with my team makes me proud and it is important not to lose joy despite everything and to keep investing, for example we expanded our parking lots during the pandemic.
What do you do to relax and take your mind off things?
FS: Going out into nature. Here in Wilhelmshaven it's walking, in the mountains it was hiking. Listening to music. Taking a bath or going to the sauna.
Did you always want to be a hotel manager?
FS: Since it started going in the direction of professional orientation, yes. I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and I did an internship in a hotel in the Netherlands while I was in school. There I realized that I was very interested in the business activities around it. So it became clear to me that I wanted to become a director. I then made a conscious decision to become a chef and my instructor motivated me to go to hotel management school.