Creating A Home Away From Home In Pullman Beijing South

Graham Koch, the general manager of Pullman Beijing South, has over 20 years professional experience in premier five-star operations in Australia, Asia, Middle East and the United Kingdom. These assignments have included properties from the InterContinental, Hilton, Ramada, and Accor groups.

What opportunities for development does the location of Pullman Beijing South give the hotel?
Pullman Beijing South is located in the centre of Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, which is quite near the JingJinTang Expressway, neighbours the BDA Management Committee, and is surrounded by many international corporations and Fortune 500 companies . The hotel is just 20 minutes drive to CBD and 40 minutes to Beijing' s international airport. The subway line eight will pull the hotel closer to companies in downtown. The prime location helps hotel to remain highly com2petitive in the business and meeting market. In addition, the hotel is surrounded by a natural and congenial environment. Beijing Hong Shee International Golf Club, Milu Park, and Happy valley, which are attractive for incentive travel and to tourists, are close by.

What percentage of your guests are business travelers and attendees at MICE events? How are your services tailored to meet the needs of these guests?
Fifty percent of our hotel guests are business guests and 35 percent are MICE guests. On one hand, we will continuously improve our physical facilities to provide comfort and convenience to our guests, on the other hand we have to pay attention to upgrading the quality of service, and providing personalized services to diversify our base. To meet the requirements of MICE guests, we need to provide accurate and efficient operations and smooth service processes, including IT facilities.

What are the distinguishing features of the hotel's MICE facilities?
The hotel has 1312 square meters of meeting space, of which 680 square meters are the column-free Beijing Grand Ballroom that can accommodate 500 people for dining. The flexibility of our seven well-designed adjustable multi-function rooms, which range in area from 38 square meters to 147 square meters and can accommodate from 20 people to 200 people in meetings and business events. It is worth mentioning that the hotel conference rooms are all on at the same floor, which is convenient for facilitating group discussions and meetings. A professional conference service team makes carefull plans and accurately implements them to ensure the perfect success of each meeting.

If business travelers and MICE guests have one or two days of leisure, does the hotel offer guests services to the downtown area? If so, what are the details?
The Hotel has a shuttle bus that goes to downtown Beijing regularly. If you would like to travel around the area and have a look at the capital, we can also arrange a one day city tour that takes guests to famous travel attractions in Beijing. If you do not want to go too far, the nearby Hong Shee International Golf Club and Milu Park are also good choices.

For events held in your hotel, what creative ideas do you propose to enhance your food and beverage, events, and venue offerings?
The executive lounge in the 18th floor with its elegant decoration and a small open buffet is an ideal venue for a mini business party. The 680 square meter pillar-free Grand Ballroom is more suitable for big events, corporate annual meetings, and other recreational and business activities. In the warmer seasons, hotel can also provide outside catering, such as drinks and take-away food, and organize a venue, for example you could have a cocktail party in Milu Park.

With more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry, what is your management philosophy?
"Travel and tourism is a show business," "No show, no business." We have to create an impact. We have to entertain our customers. Because in the future, only quality will prevail.

What you need to put on a great show is good staff. The industry needs service personalities who are outgoing and think on their feet. The junior staff are the real salespeople of a hotel. Therefore, we have to educate our employees and create an atmosphere of oneness among the staff. Only then will they be able to give their best service to clients.

Image-making is expensive, we have to spend some money in order to channel business our way. Promotional strategies do not need to consist solely of advertising. Numerous channels of communication can be explored. The right attitude is also essential. Attitude, vision, and effective implementation leading to achievement: these are the necessary elements.

Achievement of aims is not merely a source of satisfaction but a springboard from which to launch greater and more adventurous projects consolidating a lead in excellence and innovation.

The quality of its restaurants is an important criterion for judging a great hotel and therefore an essential component of its image. In today' s competitive, customer driven business environment, change is inevitable which must not only be to enhance profitability but must also improve product and service quality.

As operating costs continue to spiral, maintaining profits becomes an increasingly difficult proposition. Traditionally, one tends to confront rising costs and dwindling profits by raising menu prices, reducing portions, cutting back on service or changing the menu mix. However, these approaches have their limitations since consumers are now becoming more price and value conscious.

Another option is to consider employee productivity since an increase in productivity can help stabilize or increase profits. Employee training is an attractive way to increase productivity since it generally does not require a substantial capital outlay. On the job training should supplement the formal training programs. Other considerations include proper scheduling of employees, reducing turnover and designing the best possible layout of the outlets.

In addition to these options one of the most productive steps that can be taken today is to appoint competent managers for each outlet. Each sales outlet must be handled as a separate profit center with its own market profile, concept and guest mix. It must be operated by a competent outlet manager who understands and know his or her product, market, competition, and policies; understands profit and loss statements, and shows leadership.

What is the benchmark of a good international brand hotel?
Standard service and clearness of brand concept to ensure consistency.

In light of your hotel management experience in many parts of the world, what aspects of Pullman Beijing South do you hope to improve?

1) Strengthen team building.
2) Keep consistency in term of product and service.
3) Improve Innovative concepts in F&B.
4) Create a home away from home atmosphere for foreign guests.