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Quality in Hospitality: an expert shares his secret ingredients

What makes exceptional quality in the UK’s Hospitality industry today? Simon Numphud, Managing Director of AA Hotel & Hospitality Services, offers valuable insights on what great quality means, how to deliver it and why a hotel’s ‘soul’ is everything today. 


For me, quality centres around two key areas: the physical characteristics and the experience.

We have so many great hotels across the UK that live and breathe exceptional quality and it is a great privilege for our inspection teams to observe this first hand, especially in an industry that has always put its people and guests first.

Here are my top three ingredients for quality, consistency and exceptional service that will positively impact hoteliers’ bottom line.


1.   Let your venue’s heart and soul shine

It goes without saying that delivering great guest satisfaction hinges on the physical establishment itself being in good order, but what really brings a hotel to life is its service and hospitality.  

I refer to this as its ‘soul’. In my experience when visiting a truly brilliant hotel, its soul is palpable and is evident through its people too. By developing a culture where every guest is treated as if they are a close relative, delivering great service becomes second nature, rather than simply a process.Quality is not just a process – it’s natural, genuine hospitality that leaves a lasting impression.


2. Cultivate a winning culture

Happy, motivated teams foster exceptional customer service. The two are intrinsically linked. We are all well aware of the adage: “If you look after your team well, they will look after your customers” and this couldn’t ring any truer than in the hostel industry.  

A great place to start is by having your team go through the guest experience themselves, this helps to ensure they have complete empathy and understanding of a visitor’s perspective. What’s more, they should complement this experience with more formal training and product knowledge sessions by putting in place a dedicated learning programme. In a busy hotel where time is often a scarce commodity it can be easy to neglect this, but knowing your product inside out is fundamental to great service.  


3. Nurture guest advocacy

Guest satisfaction is your golden ticket to success. Getting the guest experience right can have a significantly positive impact on the bottom line, while getting it wrong can have quite the reverse effect. In a fiercely competitive marketplace, the value of a repeat guest is key. Often this can lead to a relationship where guests will book directly with your hotel, owing to the trust and rapport developed through great quality and service. A loyal guest who loves the hotel can also become a great advocate for your business, through recommending the experience to friends and family or posting on social media about their experience.  

Fortunately, there are many fantastic hotels across the country that deliver consistently great guest experiences through their committed and professional teams. When we visit a hotel, we assess everything through a quality lens, looking at both the physical quality and the operational aspects of an establishment. Importantly we’ll also observe other guests’ experiences, so we get a consistent view.  

Together with VisitEngland we provide assessment ratings, however it’s hugely important to us to work with the industry, empowering people to drive forward quality through ongoing guidance and support. Ultimately, creating a better experience for those working in hospitality and the guests they serve.   


For more information or to sign up to one of our quality schemes, please visit: