The Hotel Inspector 2013 - (Page 124)

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS We speak to Simon Numphud, AA Hotel Services Manager, about the organisation's historic relationship with the hospitality industry. Simon shares his thoughts on the digital awakening and why quality customer service is the optimum seal of success SIMON NUMPHUD Head of AA Hotel Services. Prior to joining the AA in 1997, he spent ten years in hotels and restaurants. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a mentor in the Oxford Brookes hospitality management mentoring programme. 124 PHOTOGRAPHY: Getty Images, PA Photos, Shutterstock HOTEL INSPECTOR: Simon, could you explain your role in detail, and then more broadly, what you are doing with the organisation? SIMON NUMPHUD: I look after AA hotel services: the business responsible for running national accreditation schemes across the UK. We produce a range of lifestyle guides from these schemes and now also mobile applications and website entries for all of those hospitality businesses. We have around 1 4,000 establishments in various classification programmes (including the well established and successful food recognition scheme, AA Rosettes) but our main codification, the star rating and the accommodation scheme, is for hotels and guest lodging. We also run consulting and training courses for the hospitality industry. HI: Obviously, the AA has been around for a very long time. It's a well-loved brand in the UK and has been linked to the hospitality trade for a lot of its existence, hasn't it? SN: We are very lucky. We enjoy a very unique and rich heritage with the hospitality industry. The AA was formed in 1905 and we started recommending and inspecting hotels in 1908, so it's been quite a few years now! Sir Stenson Cooke was our company secretary at the time and he created the now traditional, quality star rating scheme in 1912. He based it on the same system that brandy used to be rated on; a one-to-three-star basis. That's how the star rating was born and ever since then, the AA has always been associated and worked very closely with, the hospitality industry. HI: How close is the link between the AA group and the hospitality industry in modern times? Do you feel you are as embedded now as you ever were? SN: Absolutely! Our business is all about relationships. We have extensive relationships across the hospitality industry, both at what I would call a trade and organisation level. We work with groups including the Institute of Hospitality and the British Hospitality Association to whom for many years, we have been a preferred supplier for both quality accreditation and consultancy services. We have multiple and diverse relationships across the industry from all our guest accommodation proprietors (who tend to be smaller proprietor driven businesses) right through to landmark hotels such as the Savoy, the Dorchester and the Mandarin Oriental – to name but a few. > THE HOTEL INSPECTOR 124-127 AA interview FINALindd.indd 124 9/1/13 15:17:20

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Hotel Inspector 2013

Alex's welcome
News bulletin
Statement pieces
Series round up
Gym & Spas
Fine dining
Kitchen matters
Energy efficiency
Food management
Cooking equipment
Technology upgrade
App integration
Renewable energy
The Hospitality Show
Hospitality Technology Expo
Business supplies
Hotel management
Global clients
The 10 best hotels
AA interview
Hotels of the future

The Hotel Inspector 2013