I had the pleasure of working with Mike Walmsley for a few long days in 1989 when I was on a task force sent to his hotel to oversee the hotel’s purchase and sale agreement. If you have ever been on the receiving end of one of those transactions, you know how challenging the interpersonal relationships can be. I distinctively remember Mike’s storerooms and just how organized he had everything. After all, I was there to oversee the inventory counts so that my company didn’t overpay for the food and beverage in the hotel.
I was told to expect a little push-back from the vanquished, but I received nothing of the kind. In fact, I received a great lesson in food and beverage controls. All the while, I thought my tool bag was well-stocked with F&B control processes and tips and tricks. What I experienced was exposure to a master at work. The executive in my company had recently disbanded the entire food and beverage control enterprise across our brand. I remember thinking at the time what a poor decision it had been, and only if we had what Mike had going on in our hotels, we could have perhaps saved the discipline from extinction inside my company.
Mike and I lost touch over the years, and he recently found me through my weekly blog. I am thrilled to write this introduction for him for three reasons.
- What he writes about is almost a lost art and, having a background in controls and food and beverage processes, I believe this art needs preservation. Almost like a language, it needs to be fought for, so we don’t lose track of where we came from.
- He has laid out in this book as well as his first book some incredibly valuable information that anyone can use to improve their restaurant operation’s profitability. The information in this book is broad-based and it addresses many aspects of our business, not just the numbers.
- Mike is an expert at what he writes and is passionate about. In our business, the limelight rarely shines in the basement, but all that is nonsense and he deserves his light. This book will be an important tool for like-minded hospitality professionals.
I invite you to read and savor the breadth of ideas to make them your own. Take particular note of the clear and measurable actions he provides with each one of his 101 tips. There is something here for all constituents of our business.
Understanding all there is to know and bring to bear in your food and beverage operation is an endless and daunting task. Anyone who knows the business also knows that if we have five of us in one room and someone throws out an idea or concept, we will have at least seven best practices. Our business is not a science, and his take on what to do and who to be is clear and articulate.
Enjoy the book and above all else remember the following. You will never master the profitability of your business. Like good guest service and superior colleague engagement, it’s a labor of love. Come to your place of work every day and pour your heart into making it better on those three measurements every day. If you do this, you are one big step closer to continued success and prosperity.
The Hotel Financial Coach