Five minutes with Andrew Kemsley of 10 Hospitality

Tell me about 10 Hospitality
AK: 10 Hospitality is a consultancy that specialises in helping businesses
deliver the very best service, hospitality and engagement through the
training and coaching of restaurant managers, owners and their teams.

My USP is my passion for helping people and brands achieve their true
potential. Nothing I do is off the shelf. I tailor each piece of
work to individual clients, challenging what they do and establishing
solutions for them. I get under the skin of the business,
learning everything I can about it - the proposition, menu,
ingredients etc and always feel that this gives me an authentic edge and
an approach that can never be compromised. I like to say I am the outside man on the inside.

Let's talk about 'Guest Experience'. In your opinion how do you see
the guest experience in this new Covid-19 era?

AK: I think the single biggest challenge will be providing hospitality from behind a mask. That is, in my opinion, the only obstacle. I don’t think the
1 meter vs 2 meter social distancing will matter. It’s going to be all about the mask - how loudly we speak, our hand signals, the value of our eyes, eyebrows and smiles. The design is super important – restaurants need to invest in this and bring a brand aspect to the mask. A common surgical mask will result in a clinical feeling and certainly won't enhance the experience.

We are in the business of looking after people. I think every restaurant will adopt the improved safety measures. There is no question that overcoming the physical obstacle that will cover 50% of a server's face will take time to get used to. It’s the real conversations, the engagement, that make our industry what it is.

Tell the readers about S.H.A.R.E.
AK: As a trainer of people and always sharing information and inspiration
with people I like to keep the delivery very very simple. Share came to
me on one of my many bike rides. I was thinking about all the safety
measures that were being repeatedly hammered via all the media
channels, and I was thinking we were forgetting the most important piece – which is why people go out to eat! And I thought what would be
something that would be really simple and easy to remember and
something that restaurant managers could pick up on daily with their
S = safety
Having a safe environment is critical
H = hospitality
We mustn’t compromise it by focusing too much on safety but they do
go hand in hand
A = awareness
We must be aware of everything and everyone…the kitchen, guests,
R = respect
Everyone is going to have a difference in opinion on the virus and how
it has been managed on every level. We must respect this and each
E =engagement
We must engage with our guests even more so now with all the safety
measurements in place. What is our voice? It will be so important over
the coming weeks and imperative for restaurants to deliver these
messages in a genuine, heartfelt way behind the mask. 

The S.H.A.R.E. method is underpinned by these three simple memorable

  1. Uncompromising Safety
  2. Exceptional Service
  3. Genuine Hospitality

If you were to give an owner/manager 3 tips on how to enhance the
relationship that they have with their teams as they begin to reopen
what would you recommend?

  1. Engage their team – talk to them from the heart – openly and
    transparently – bring them on the journey together as a team
  2. Train them and share their vision of what post Covid looks like
  3. Listen – you will learn huge amounts about how they are feeling or ideas that could be implemented. Have open conversations – they are on the front line.

What have you missed most during lockdown?
AK: Working. I love talking to people. Working is my hobby. I love inspiring people. I have missed all the conversations…that always start with a flat white…and if it goes well, it ends with a meal! I guess, in all seriousness, the freedom.

Will you be making any fundamental changes coming out of lockdown?
AK: I’ve questioned whether to change the business model … I certainly have had to adapt and evolve during lockdown by using video and webinars. I have always been "live and in person" for all that I do – but perhaps now, I may use online technology more in the future as I believe it can be time efficient, cost effective and equally engaging. Watch this space!

What has kept you sane during lockdown?
AK: My local coffee shop (Sydney Rocks Coffee) – it reminds me of what was and what will be and this is important to me. My family has been so supportive but even the wider family of the hospitality industry – sharing information, encouragement. I’ve never felt alone and we are all in this together.

Post lockdown resolutions?
AK: Coming out of this from a self-looking perspective…I will be fearless.
I will continue to ride my bike. I will be sharing more about my meals out and try to bring attention to the small businesses in order to help them.

In closing, can you leave us with a little of AK’s inspiration ?
AK: Be kind, it’s so easy. If you always do the right thing, you can never be
wrong. It’s the small things that make a difference.

Andrew Kemsley
Founder & Director 10 Hospitality