Unit 14 Reading Activity Plus Questions

Listen to the audio recording while you read the text below. Then answer the comprehension questions that follow the text.

Hotel Management

A job interview:

Owner: Good morning and thank you for coming in today Mr Jones. I must say I am very impressed with your CV.

Mr Jones: Thank you. It is a pleasure to be here. I have always admired this hotel.

Owner: Well, lets get down to business. I see that you are currently the operations manager at the Kingfisher.

Mr Jones: Yes, that is correct. I have been in this position for five years now.

Owner: Could you tell me a little about your responsibilities?

Mr Jones: Certainly, well, I am in charge of the daily running of the hotel which means working closely with the staff and making sure that all tasks are done to the highest standard. At the moment I seem to spend most of my time mediating disputes between staff. I also have two duties a week when I am in charge of the hotel.

Owner: You mean when the general manager is away?

Mr Jones: Not exactly, the GM is still there but we have a system where each of the management team take duties so the GM isn’t disturbed and we only go to her when it is absolutely necessary.

Owner: I see. So you are used to working independently I assume.

Mr Jones: I am.

Owner: So what would you say are the biggest challenges in your current job?

Mr Jones: That’s easy. The hardest thing is making sure that our high standards are maintained. Just last week, we had a surprise inspection from the AA to check that we still deserved our 4 star rating.

Owner: How did it go?

Mr Jones: Very well, we kept the rating. It was stressful though, we had a few members of staff off sick and I ended up working in the restaurant taking orders.

Owner: So it sounds like you are quite hands-on in your work.

Mr Jones: I am, but sometimes I think this could be my weakness as I often do a job myself instead of delegating it to another member of staff.

Owner: Aha, well I suppose in your current position that is probably OK, but if you are successful here, it will have to change. I wouldn’t want my GM waiting tables. The GM should represent me directly and as such must maintain authority.

Mr Jones: Yes, I realize that. What exactly does the GM do in this hotel? It seems the responsibilities vary from hotel to hotel.

Owner: As you know we are quite a small hotel, I suppose you could call us a boutique hotel. We do not have a marketing department so one of the major roles is devising and implementing marketing campaigns.

Mr Jones: That sounds good. How have you been advertising so far?

Owner: We send brochures to our existing client base and attract new clients via our website and of course online booking agents. It works quite well, but we need to improve our branding so we can attract our target demographic. And of course networking, as this is a small town it is always important to build good contacts with other businesses.

Mr Jones: Ok, and apart from that?

Owner: A lot of administrative tasks such as preparing timetables and of course making sure budgets are followed.

Mr Jones: I am glad you mentioned that. In my current position I am also responsible for making sure we stay in budget which I am pleased to say we do. But the owners have started cutting back on investment which is making it hard to stay at the same level.

Owner: You wouldn’t have to worry about that here. My personal rule is that a minimum of 25% of the profits are invested back into the hotel. As you can see, we have completely renovated the public areas and next year we plan to modernize the kitchens. The staff seem very happy here, we have a low staff turnover so you would be working with a steady team.

Mr Jones: Excellent.

Owner: May I ask if that is the reason you are leaving your current position?

Mr Jones: No, I am leaving because I would like to develop myself and unfortunately the Kingfisher doesn’t promote in-house.

Quiz: Reading Questions

1. The operations manager is part of the management team and in charge of the daily administration of the hotel.
2. A general manager (GM) should be able to delegate tasks and mediate disputes.
3. The manager on duty needs to make sure standards are maintained.
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