In our latest Getting to Know You feature we speak to Douglas Winfield – Interstate’s Director of Operations & Quality, UK1.
Here, Douglas shares an insight into his role, as well as some little-known facts about his time in hospitality.
Tell us about your role and what it involves?
My role is all about supporting operational excellence within the Interstate hotels in the UK. This encompasses a whole variety of activities from working with stakeholders to guest experience and from brand compliance to service delivery.
I focus on developing areas of quality which in return become repeat business and help us to maintain and grow our reputation.
A key aspect of my role is also about engaging with and supporting our hotels and their teams so that they deliver the best possible guest experience and return for our owners.
Having worked as a General Manager myself previously I have a good insight into the expectations and challenges faced by the teams and can draw on my experience and put myself in their position – this leads to strong working relationships.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
Well, that’s an interesting question! I always start out with an approach to a day with elements of being proactive but working in hospitality and working with people there are always matters that come up that need your immediate attention.
On the back of the pandemic and coming into the endemic there is a lot more travel, this is something that many of us have missed and it is great to be getting back out and about again.
I support hotels from Aberdeen to Folkstone across to Cardiff and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is important to be able to visit the hotels, being present to support the GMs and the teams is key because spreadsheets, metrics and data can tell you some information, but nothing beats the reality of seeing what is happening on the ground.
What’s your favourite part of your role?
The interaction with people – the teams, the guests, and the suppliers we engage with, it’s about the people.
It is great to be able to support people and see them grow as GMs and as leaders. Developing that pipeline of talent is really rewarding and this industry gives lots of opportunities to grow.
What do you think makes Interstate stand out from the crowd?
I would say the organisation has some really solid foundations around vision and values and that is a great platform for them to leverage from but also, they live and breathe them which makes for a hugely rewarding working environment.
Tell us something about you that not everyone knows
I have always had a big enjoyment of both watching and participating in sport, for many years I have had an ambition and it is still a live ambition that I would like to swim the channel. When I was much younger, I swam five miles and I’ve done lots of open water swimming but I’d really love to swim the channel!