Wed 28 Nov 18
Before becoming Vice Principal (Academic) of the Edge Hotel School, Adrian spent over ten years working in the hospitality industry.
Adrian's first role in the hospitality industry, after completing a Masters degree in hotel and catering management, was as a graduate trainee with Thistle Hotels, becoming a general manager of a 100-bedroom hotel in Bournemouth at just 25 years old.
Adrian is starting a PhD in September 2019 and is currently writing a book on hospitality profitability. He teaches the marketing and consultancy units and oversees academic delivery at the Edge Hotel School.
What drew you to a career in hospitality?
I joined the hospitality industry because I wanted to work in the best places and eat the best food in the world, while meeting celebrities and royalty. In what other industry can you be so employable worldwide?
Why did you decide to move into teaching?
I was very disappointed with my degree experience as not one of my lecturers had ever worked in a hotel. I always wanted to teach, I enjoy public speaking, but I wanted to go out in to the industry first so I would know what I was talking about. One of the best things about the Edge Hotel School is that every lecturer has had that kind of experience.
What is your latest research about?
I am looking at why people complain. What is it that makes some people complain about every little thing while others never say a word? If I can determine the cause it might be possible to predict when and how often people will complain from personality type, culture, situation etc.
Why is an academic education vital in an industry which is regarded as hands on?
You do need to be able to jump in to help on occasion so hands on training is vital and it's why many people work their way up through the ranks in hotels. However this means there is a distinct lack of people with both skills and business acumen in our industry. I think that’s why we have the highest business failure rate of any trade. Providing the hospitality industry with graduates who can roll their shirtsleeves up to help but also have the business acumen to rise to the highest levels makes perfect sense to me. You can see by the rate our graduates are being promoted that it is working.
How do you see the future of the UK hospitality industry?
The skills shortage is plain to see. This is a positive for our graduates as good people will progress much faster than they already do. I can see even younger General Managers and better pay and terms and conditions as the hospitality industry rewards quality staff. You could argue this means higher costs and lower profits, but maybe it’s time to raise room rates and pay staff more, rather than weakening the industry by building more and more hotels.