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Most investors working with the Bowden Group in hospitality do not understand the sector

David Hunter, the hospitality business mentor, says that 45-55% of the failing businesses within the hospitality sector, working with him, are owned by individuals who have no prior experience and knowledge about the industry.

David Hunter says: “The hospitality industry may look very appealing and easy to manage, but it is one of the most challenging areas to run a business. Most people who invest are highly enthusiastic, but they don’t have any knowledge about hospitality management. These owners, who come from different business backgrounds don’t implement controls and systems that are necessary to ensure smooth operations and profits. They tend to rely on appointed managers and staff that are not well managed.”

David maintains:  “The hospitality industry is a vast and a tricky area. It is not just about having a great looking pub, but among other things, it involves having a sound knowledge about the market, customer preferences, trained staff with the right attitude and a good marketing strategy.”

David Hunter says that from his 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, he has observed that a huge number of people who want to try their hands in this sector are highly successful entrepreneurs with lots of capital made from running very successful businesses in other sectors, but they then fail because they don’t understand the specific issues of the hospitality trade.

In addition, when these investors appoint managers, as most of them do, they do not necessarily check that those managers have the skills needed to run a business, and they fail to manage the activities of the managers.  As David comments: “Managers have to be managed, and motivated – and that is the owner’s role!”

David says: “Across the UK, we are seeing lots of pubs and restaurants closing down due to the recession. However, things could be set right and a large number of businesses can be saved if the owners have a better understanding of the commercial and management aspects, and get the basics right.”


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