Hotel manager reveals challenges of recruitment post-lockdown

St Michael's Manor in St Albans.

St Michael's Manor in St Albans. - Credit: St Michael's Manor

How has one of St Albans' flagship hotels coped with the demands of lockdown restrictions easing?

We spoke to Richard Marrett, general manager of St Michael's Manor, to find out what challenges they had experienced over the past year, and how he was weathering the coronavirus storm.

"We are getting very well practiced in closing and reopening again after our experiences of 2020. We are very proud of the safety precautions that we have put in place that have not compromised our level of service.

"The hospitality industry has borne the brunt of so many rules, regulations and restrictions over the past year but we are a resilient bunch and have been able to adapt well.

"We were able to hit the road running this year but, similar to venues across the country, we are struggling to recruit staff. The combination of the pandemic and Brexit has been a perfect storm for staff recruitment.


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"It's an enormous challenge. We have several team members that are desperate to come back to work but remain stuck in Europe."

Al fresco dining at St Michael's Manor.

Al fresco dining at St Michael's Manor. - Credit: St Michael's Manor

As part of the first lockdown relaxation, St Michael's built a marquee in the garden to accommodate patrons, but now they are able to open inside they are focusing on offering al fresco dining on the terrace overlooking the gardens and lake.

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Richard said: "We are delighted to have been allowed to reopen and have thoroughly enjoyed welcoming guests back through the door at St Michael's Manor. We often receive telephone calls from our guests just to say hello and that they look forward to coming back to see us again soon.

"It has been a tough year but we are very excited to open the doors again. We have received fabulous feedback so far and our regular guests are delighted to be back."

Cocktails at St Michael's Manor.

Cocktails at St Michael's Manor. - Credit: St Michael's Manor

Richard added: "The summer is looking incredibly busy for us looking after weddings and special events that have been postponed from the last year.

"We thoroughly enjoy being part of our brides’ and grooms’ special days and cannot wait for the larger weddings to start taking place again."



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