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#111 - Hospitality Meets Matt Townley - The Energetic Hotelier
Episode 11122nd June 2022 • Hospitality Meets... with Phil Street • Phil Street
00:00:00 01:11:13

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We're back for the 2nd half of season 2 and we get things moving fast with the Industry champion that is Matt Townley, Regional Operations Director for Dakota Hotels (https://www.dakotahotels.co.uk/).

Matt brings the energy from the get go and we get through a lot including:-

  • Titans V Legends
  • Energy
  • Starting young
  • Education v Experience
  • The initial Spark
  • The impact of others
  • Mentors
  • Weddings
  • Community
  • Attention to detail
  • Diversifying the knowledge
  • “Ken”isms
  • Dakota
  • Recognition
  • Stories involving James Bond

And so much more.

Matt is a shining light for hospitality, is definitely a Titan in the making and there's so much great content in here around building a career.

Thanks so much Matt.

We're also thrilled to have made our way onto the Top 50 Hospitality podcasts list here https://blog.feedspot.com/hospitality_podcasts/

Enjoy!



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Transcripts

00:00.00

philjstreet

Hello and welcome to the next episode of hospitality meets with me Phil Street I've been super excited about getting today's guest on for some time as he's absolutely one of the great personalities of our industry. His career has taken him through some very recognizable hotel brands including Devere, Principal, Malmaison and now Dakota where he finds himself as the regional operations director I am of course talking about the awesome Matt Townley welcome to the show Matt.

00:28.71

Matt Townley

Thanks Phil! Thanks very much. That's a yeah to be alongside some industry titans that you've interviewed and done podcast with before that's a very nice welcome. Thanks! Very much here. Not yet.

00:37.21

philjstreet

Oh your honor. You're a Titan in the making Matt no absolutely yeah I don't know what like what point do you become a Titan that's ah because there's legend as well. We've had some legends on but it is is Titan higher.

00:48.48

Matt Townley

Yeah, yeah.

00:54.74

Matt Townley

Yeah I think so I think hopefully today when when we go through sort of the journey that I've had I can probably allude to some titans that I've been very very sort of fortunate to work alongside and in the in the last sort of 15 years really well really well can't complain.

00:55.61

philjstreet

And a legend I.

01:06.32

philjstreet

Yeah, nice one. How are you anyway.

01:12.82

Matt Townley

It's ah raining in Manchester as usual and it's been quite nice. But yeah I think that the token joke about rain in Manchester we have to get that in somewhere. But yeah, really well business is really strong and the 2 cities Manchester lead to performing really? well so can't complain at all.

01:13.23

philjstreet

Great Just show you sure.

01:26.81

philjstreet

I had heard a rumor that it's grim up North Can you qualify that or not.

01:32.30

Matt Townley

But being ah being a scalp che I would definitely disagree with that what you know that there's some dark days in Manchester especially where Manchester City Liftftly titles and and and bits and pieces. Well I'm I'm buyed today by another liverpool victory last night against Aston Villa and

01:41.28

philjstreet

Ah. Are you red, good indeed I'm definitely not gonna make this podcast about the the title chase. but um but I'm a liver I'm a Liverpool fan as well. So um, yeah, we're we're still in the running. Um I don't hold out much hope. But.

01:49.55

Matt Townley

We're still in that we're still in the title chase and still chasing that quadruple. Um, blin.

02:05.67

philjstreet

Anyway, 1 1 game at a time. But yeah, so where are you recording today. That's ah, that's a nice looking room. You're in.

02:05.95

Matt Townley

Indeed.

02:11.97

Matt Townley

ter I opened this hotel um in:

02:35.89

philjstreet

Yeah, got yeah well we'll we'll definitely come on to Dakota through the the midst of this chat and learn about what you're up to and what you've got going on I remember actually because obviously I'm a recruiter so my first. Contact with you was was ah, an attempt to headhunt you. Ah god years ago but you weren't having any of it. Um, because you were um, you were very happy where you were and that was great but we've kind of loosely kept in touch and I've always I just like your energy for this industry. You just seem to be. Exactly where you're supposed to be.

03:10.90

Matt Townley

Yeah I think first and foremost in the podcast I'm you I'm your biggest super fan Phil so I was I was really looking forward to this today I've listened to them all. So so some really impressive ones and and and certainly ah yeah I think.

03:15.81

philjstreet

A pleasure. Nice.

03:25.42

Matt Townley

Energy. We can talk about brand. We can talk about energy and and and I certainly believe that energy you know is synonymous with hospitality hotels ah live and breed in animals. You know with a lack of energy to become flat. Um, and yeah and you know ultimately energy is fun. So hospitality about having fun Phil you know. We have to have form. We have to inject energy every corn retain with that being the kitchen and housekeeping front desk concierge you know energy is really important.

03:52.40

philjstreet

Yeah, absolutely, that's all about the overall experience isn't It's not just about the guest experience. It's about everybody's experience that comes into into the business but great right? Well let's go all the way back then let's start where well.

03:57.28

Matt Townley

Um, conveyed yeah.

04:09.87

philjstreet

What was the first moment where you thought I need to go and work in hospitality.

04:13.55

Matt Townley

Yeah, so I think Phil I'm one of these sort of boffins that knew from sort of day dot I wanted to be a hotel general manager. So I think that's that's really you know I knew straightaway I was very fortunate at the age of 16 to go and work for the queen's motel hotels. You'll remember them.

04:20.86

philjstreet

Right.

04:29.89

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

04:31.74

Matt Townley

Um, in the in yeah in in the Liverpool branch and you know I often reminisce about that that hotel and Liverpool being sort of the darling of the of the liverpool industry at the time. It'd been a holiday in prior and it been placed latterly under a compulsory purchase order for the livepool 1 groves in the project.

04:48.76

philjstreet

Right now.

04:50.69

Matt Townley

he sort of capital culture in:

05:26.93

philjstreet

Right.

05:45.10

Matt Townley

So five six hundred people so it seventeen I was half running a banquet flip for 500 people which was absolutely crazy at the time but I also found myself sort of in a concierge role at at the age of 17 and listen we all know concierge and and the and the golden keys brothership. You know it's it's absolutely incredible and.

05:48.16

philjstreet

I caught. Yeah.

06:04.66

Matt Townley

Really opened my eyes hospitality and I really cemented my love for the industry there and I often look back and think what did I get from that role and you know I look back at times grand nationals always won the sticks out in the memory grand national is obviously huge fillrpool the grand national meeting and there wasn't really many other there. Competitive hotels in Liverpool at the time so we'd have all the horse race and on the horse owners and and and the riders and the jockeys sorry um stayin in the hotel and I just remember working alongside a a middle aged guy. We'll call him Terry and god rest them. He's he's passed since.

06:39.51

philjstreet

Ah, yes, do you need and you need an actor to do his voice excuse me.

06:41.29

Matt Townley

Um, and Terry yeah listen Tedy was Teddy was ah an in's an industry legend the liverpool certainly and he was a career waiter and he taught me everything to knew about waiting tables and as a sixteen seventeen you know, honestly Phil I remember don't tell a taxman but walking out with. Thousands of pounds of cash tips because you've got resource owners chucking money around that it was just absolutely brilliant and really sort of really cemented my love for the industry and the sort of last year I'd started university I attended I livepool John Moore's university in a study tourism and hospitality.

07:04.15

philjstreet

That.

07:19.20

Matt Townley

So in my sort of first two years university I was I was part time and invent to commas at queens mothouse Liverpool but I I was actually in a full time salaried role. So I was bouncing. Um. An early shift offered it offered an afternoon lecture and then a morning shift off an all afternoon lecture. So so I worked full time in the first two years which was which was challenging to say the least book graphon.

07:33.90

philjstreet

Right? right.

07:39.93

philjstreet

Well, that's I mean that sounds like it's kind of almost the best of both worlds because you're you're getting some theoretical knowledge within you but then you're able to go out into the real world and and put some of it into practice.

07:47.69

Matt Townley

You? Yeah yeah, and I think that's critical. You know so I am I've had about 7 mentees from Manchester Met University over the last sort of 13 years and the biggest biggest. You know downfall some graduates have these days to come out with a piece of paper but just don't have any experience and I think the way the industry's moving just now and the the recruitment opportunities that we've got you know experiences absolutely critical. So and ah I stand by that I think filthy sorry from there I am.

08:16.83

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah I.

08:24.57

Matt Townley

Um, moved on because the hotel closed. Um, so that experience is really cares. It took me into my into the next row.

08:29.10

philjstreet

Yeah I relate to you on the ah getting the experience element as well. I I had the opportunity to go and study a ah fourth year degree but opted to just take the three year degree and go out I just felt that I needed. Experience now. Plus I was getting a little bit bored of academia to be honest and I just needed to get some practical experience and then you look at the people who stayed behind and did the 4 year degree and you're already a year ahead of them in the yeah in the midst and I'm not saying that. That's the only path but certainly I think it's it's critical.

08:49.91

Matt Townley

And.

08:58.59

Matt Townley

Yeah.

09:06.62

philjstreet

I Think early doors to identify getting the balance right? between getting some qualification behind you if you can. It's not essential but then backing it up with practical experience.

09:18.27

Matt Townley

Yeah, it's certainly it's absolutely not essential and and I often talk to young graduates now that are just about to finish and embark on the careers and I often say I look back at my degree and. You know I did quite well I was quite lucky that livepool at the time as was about to take on this capital the culture in the in the mediumterm future. So so it was all about urban and tour and looking at tours. But I always said I always say to people I probably didn't use my degree till about five six seven years later when when you really sort of. Communicating professionally and talk and and in boardrooms you know that that's what it really came to for for me. So so yeah experience absolutely vital.

09:52.60

philjstreet

Um, yeah, did you have a subject that you really excelled in overall wellers right.

09:59.10

Matt Townley

Um I was terrible academically fill if I'm honest I I enjoyed I enjoyed listen that you know you know I enjoyed University and my my parents are both um, educated to to degree level in geography both geographers. Um, but but you know.

10:13.29

philjstreet

Right.

10:16.83

Matt Townley

I Always had the vision that I wasn't the son of a hotelier or hotels don't run in my family you know so I had the visions. So once I finished my a levels and which I absolutely despised that type of study I knew I had a vision so I knew I wanted to be a Gm I knew I wanted to take on the hotels and So. By the time I got into it into a classroom and so did the degree you know I knew exactly what I wanted So I was I was actually I really applied myself in University just just to get to the end and get the piece of paper.

10:42.11

philjstreet

Right? Yeah, but that's the secret though isn't it you you found something that you absolutely want to do and this is ah this is part of the jigsaw puzzle that will help you get there at some point down down the line. So it just feels like it's part of your purpose and that you know.

10:49.75

Matt Townley

Did.

10:59.68

philjstreet

And need to to apply myself as as much as possible where where did the um where did that vision actually come from where can you remember a moment where you went ah like did you see a movie or you saw somebody and went I want to do that.

11:00.40

Matt Townley

You get.

11:12.50

Matt Townley

Yeah, it. Incest natalie a lot of people ask me this. We grew up. Um I had I've got 2 siblings so those 3 of us um, money wasn't you know you know we didn't have a huge amount of money growing up so hotel stays were quite romantic and quite. Listen far fetch. We didn't go and stay in the hotels every every other month you know they but it was I can only remember a handful of family holidays. So the the memorable family holidays doing cottages in Scotland and and going out with the dffa thing in the morning but I can I can remember some really key sort of moments being in their tells and 1 of their moments was. Bizarrely in and what was de ver saint David's park which is in Yulo North Wales which isn and it's a villageel now. But but this is probably going back 25 years and I remember sitting in the restaurant and dad kindly. Ah, let me have a steak this night. So's that's probably on probably about 11 given the fact that I'm 37 next month it was probably it was probably twenty five years ago so so that was where they all started for me and I was very lucky the my next little neighbor and me grown up had an office in in the queen's motel in Liverpool. So. It allowed me to bridge that gap get some experience and and off I went but I knew I knew from probably the age of 15 I wanted to be a hotel general manager.

12:29.66

philjstreet

Right? Got you? It was um, it was a movie pretty women that brought me bear with me on this? Yeah um because they were in the beverly wilshire and I remember it was the first time that I had a vision in my head around. Um I want to.

12:35.45

Matt Townley

Already and these.

12:47.18

philjstreet

I want to go and be that guy that's on the front desk looking after everyone um and then ultimately I'd I'd cut to right I want to have ah I want to own a hotel that's got a hundred bedrooms and I'd started doing the maths around it and all that sort of stuff and that kind of sent me on my hospitality. Ah journey. Um I got a.

12:47.79

Matt Townley

Yeah, yeah.

13:05.87

philjstreet

Took a few missteps along the way. But um, but in any case, it's it's mad isn't it where the visions come from sometimes it can be from seeing something that you just thought yeah or sometimes it's the experience itself.

13:09.28

Matt Townley

Yeah.

13:15.28

Matt Townley

Yeah, yeah, I always think Phil as well. You know hospitality, you know you know we're simple creatures. So if you've got bags of common sense and you just want to look after people. Um, you know you can go very very far very very quickly. An essential I sense about that.

13:28.96

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah, brilliant. So um, after Q and H has been shut down. Um, where where did you go next.

13:32.74

Matt Townley

Um, early doors of my career.

13:38.65

Matt Townley

Yeah, so I had a couple of really interesting years. So qm h shut down and I then had an opportunity to route to move to the newly opened Radisson essays as it was in the time in Liverpool where I stayed just. For about a year I'll finished my studies and I really got to Gri and what I wanted to do and spent a bit of time in wedding coordination which which was an eye hope it was brilliant. You know great experience and then split half my time in it in fb as well. What I quickly realized though moving there Phil was that you know Radisson was. Huge huge business and whilst qmh was sort of national really you know uknational and Radisson the international piece was huge. You did feel like a smaller piece where I I'd come as it as a young guy from from mos to hotels and being quite a you know. Well-known it in the hotel to to this other hotel in in radsson that was it was quite big and you know it just opened and there was some very very very senior people there and a big impact on my career but I stayed there a short time and I was very very lucky to sort of backdoor it into to mameison. So.

14:40.57

philjstreet

Yeah.

14:51.12

Matt Townley

Through the through my yeah university lecturer an opportunity had become available on the Malmaison Graduate Scheme Bizarrely in Liverpool. Um, so that when ah that when that came across my desk I yeah jumped all over that opportunity. Um normal interview process where where a met of a significance. Um, guy and Scott Hartper who's now Ceo Malmaisison and and been there a very long time. Um, but but I think more significantly I got the opportunity then to to join forces with people like Robert Cook Sean Wheeler all who had huge impact on my career in in the early days but this listen that was probably. 21 at the time. Um, so I was I was young impressionable I'd certainly decided that my niche in food and beverage mal maize on at the time and was all about food and beverage. You know that was the heart and soul of mal. Um, and yeah you know join mal as a graduate.

15:35.46

philjstreet

Right.

15:46.62

Matt Townley

In:

16:39.38

philjstreet

Yeah.

16:43.91

Matt Townley

You know what did I get from mal was a huge depth of knowledge in food and beverage I studied wine after I graduated and to quite a quite a decent level I um gained so much experience in the operational departments and you know and as deputy and I think importantly. Mentors that you pick up along the way and and but we'll mention more mentors we go through today Phil but but there was none better than Sean wheel and and Robert Cook at the time and still absolutely fantastic. Um, that really helped me along the way and you'll see now.

17:11.40

philjstreet

Yeah.

17:20.11

Matt Townley

The next move was was stimulated by Rober Cook as well.

17:21.26

philjstreet

Right? Yeah, but the importance of mentors cannot be understated. Um, you know they really can make a break like what directions you head off in what you learn while you're there under the you know under the.

17:26.67

Matt Townley

Yes.

17:38.95

philjstreet

Um, mentorship or or whatever and that you know that I suppose goes internally and externally the people you pick up along the way that are happy to give you the the time but um, but how old were you at this point in time sounds like you're kind of still mid 20 S Ish or

17:46.42

Matt Townley

was your I left my Maison in:

18:01.99

philjstreet

Yeah, but it ah a lot of I suppose it's that old This is a sporting thing that they always used to talk about if you're good enough. You're old enough right? And um.

18:09.65

Matt Townley

Yeah, listen I was 25 had been deputy gm and 2 malmaisison properties. 1 of them being the flagship at the time. Um, um, ah, found myself at at 25 years old thinking I'm ready to be a Gm and actually you know the next move was a critical one for me and.

18:22.25

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

18:29.10

Matt Townley

Leaving malwood was an absolute drawer. It really upset me at the time but Robert had gone and you know Sean had gone and and I had the opportunity to go and join forces with and James Stewart who was at mo moroom hall just gone into moroom halls managing directed and. Robert had gone as Ceo of Devea. Um, and asked me to come across um to join mora as resident manager which you know I was 25 no more than 26 at the time and a farm myself ruin this resource.

18:48.95

philjstreet

Yeah.

19:04.92

Matt Townley

nnings of sort of early early:

19:22.19

philjstreet

Right.

19:24.11

Matt Townley

Slightly hold us in order to offset the the businesses but lods to exit left. Um, so so yeah it was interesting. It was maybe first renovate first proper renovation I've been through a little bit of that with marmaison. But so renovating this resort and then reposition this resort to sort of. You know the best the best result in the northwest essentially was the strap line. Um huge trajectory land and you know you know you're walking there on day. 1 You've come from city center properties and you think you know a little bit about food and beverage and and service and they startt do that and then you come. Head to head with James Stewarts who I would describe as an industry titan who had been at bottom years before as Gm was now in this Md role and implacing is trusting it in a 25 year old scoser moving to cheshire run Theor alongside and but let listen you know.

20:12.82

philjstreet

Ah.

20:19.51

Matt Townley

Talking I walked in there and I remember over here in the conversation about the green speed and and I'm thinking green Speed What's green speed I'm not a golfer and but but you know we had we We were lucky to secure the isbs hand their senior open so again. Huge for fall onto onto the resolve for the for the golf tournament.

20:36.56

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

20:38.66

Matt Townley

And this was all learning and for me Phil and I'll touch on later later on I was learning every single day and and I'd never run a big spara standalone spa. You know we had to get into the community James and I and really sort of then bed what the new moshroom was gonna look like and and that that was a huge layer of care for me because.

20:46.43

philjstreet

Yeah.

20:57.90

Matt Townley

Ultimately, you cannot have a members spa club gym without engaging with the community and and and the locals. So James always and and he just stickle for it. You know seven o'clock Saturday morning and we were stored on the first t.

21:02.13

philjstreet

Yeah.

21:11.89

Matt Townley

Talking to every single golf member and that will never ever leave me. You know it was a huge huge land and care for me much more fantastic property.

21:18.23

philjstreet

Yeah, and you know one one moment in life right in terms of whereby you take the time out to go and do that and you're one, you're building relationships with people who are going to be the kind of the backbone of your membership. Um, but to.

21:30.75

Matt Townley

But.

21:34.99

philjstreet

You know that kind of flips onto them where they're like well look at how much these guys care about this, you know and that that sticks with them forever you know and they know that they they've they've trust you then that they that you actually are there for them and that you've got their backs and all of that sort of stuff and that's how you build.

21:42.19

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, yeah. Um, after sure.

21:54.54

philjstreet

The the foundations into something magical.

21:55.94

Matt Townley

Yeah I think it. It's probably privy to old album when we went to Moroom Hall it had been ah in other few very very challenging years that I say in a very polite way. So it wasn't just the members. We walked into moshroom and. At the time. Muroom Hall was delivereding hundred and forty five weons a year so I'll let you do the mass fill. But if you divide 142 by fifty two weeks that plenty Wes a week and obviously all.

22:21.51

philjstreet

Yeah, that's quite a lot wedding set.

22:28.83

Matt Townley

Generally come in them summer months so what we we have to quite quickly is to rewrite the strategy and and what you were seeing as you seen one hundred and forty five weapons fantastic but coming in and just destroying the ambiance and destroying the the spar experience the golf experience the gulf socials and. So so we have to quite quickly make make make a big big decision to sort of cut the weon business in half essentially and to really then drive that overnight Spar trade which is pretty lucrative the football trade which is also lucrative and Martin Paul Hoax to Germany in the euah 96 so it did have a hit.

22:56.78

philjstreet

Yeah, and.

23:03.14

Matt Townley

Of yeah, yeah, the history of football teams and when you have Aor and you have all the moving parts. You got a couple of restaurants um a couple of bars. A big conference suite. Um there I say you know a championship golf course 18 whole golf course you have to ensure that each of those little ladies have their own strategy. Um, what mot was when we arrived was just a wedding house and and and we were were quickly looking at a very disgrunttled membership as spa members that were disgrunted. We had to be very very quick and and getting into the community understand what they wanted from much ball as well.

23:35.79

philjstreet

Yeah I think the community element is huge I had Jason Adams on recently up at rockcliffe hole. We talked about the very same thing you know about how important is and and and not even just I suppose from business perspective but actually.

23:39.39

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, it is me.

23:54.80

philjstreet

Just from a local community perspective in terms of knowing that you're you're part of your local surroundings. You know you're a massive part. You have massive part to play in terms of the jobs that you can offer people and all of these sorts of things. It's yeah hugely important.

24:06.29

Matt Townley

Huge yeah massively important. Ah um, a moroom hole filled. You know it's it's located near elderly edge pressburee and it's one of the biggest employers in Maclessfield which is just up the road. Maybe another 3 or four miles road and what you had to quite quickly realize is all get team are coming from. Michaels field and all of your regular guests were coming from press re and alder edge with high expectations. You know and a relatively affluent part of the world. Um, so yeah, the community thing was big and and I think certainly the community thing is it comes easy in a resort.

24:31.16

philjstreet

Yeah.

24:43.41

Matt Townley

Because where you are and the village of aldenly edge just down the road and the village of pressbu. But I think that could be amplified in City centers and we'll certainly talk about that as we talk about what's happening at the coast at the moment and the the schools and the colleges that we've got relationships with and but yeah Mo wall I look back on that time is just absolutely fantastic.

25:01.67

philjstreet

Yeah, it sounds like you are a kind of a sponge at this point now every day as you say was just just adding rems and rems of knowledge which you can probably at the time you don't really appreciate but you look back on now and probably say that it it formed a massive part of.

25:03.38

Matt Townley

Time in my career.

25:10.66

Matt Townley

Um, yeah.

25:19.40

Matt Townley

Yeah, plenty mistakes as well. Phil it's definitely way of noting plenty of mistakes. Yeah, yeah.

25:20.25

philjstreet

What you've become. Yeah, yeah, but that that's essential right? The but and inevitable the and you can't go through every day being perfect. Um, you know the as much as you can pursue that there's always going to be stuff that comes up right? I mean there's always going to be. I Don't know that you were expecting a delivery of of salmon for the wedding breakfast and they send Trout you know. And yeah, these sorts of things that just happen right? They um, it's yeah but I think the the key thing for me about hospitality is is that it absolutely fundamentally gives you the tools to recover quickly.

25:47.33

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, yeah, the.

26:01.85

philjstreet

From things that go wrong.

26:02.73

Matt Townley

Yeah, and I think something I I wish say you know honesty and integrity. The most important things you're gonna know hospitality business pay effect either guest facing or people facing. You know we make people mistakes all the time. But so one of my answers now is you know. Just own it just just stand up and be ah, be the big guy and just say look. We got this wrong whether that be in front of a guest or in front of a team member. Sometimes we hire the wrong people you know and the wrong person in the business can be. You know can be a bit of a can set and you have to you have to act on that really quickly. So I listen I look back at Muchmole is a huge huge learning and care for me and.

26:30.57

philjstreet

Yeah.

26:38.84

Matt Townley

Ah, learning is listen. We we learn every day feel that a bit of a cliche itpp but but certainly some some mistakes that you you learn from and unbelievable time in my career you know and and it was a eventual to leave mo of hall as well I can be honest. Yeah yeah.

26:47.60

philjstreet

Yeah, really yeah and don't worry about cliches by the way this is a cliches safe space. Um, but um, yeah, well I mean that leads on nicely then um, leaving Moroomm hole was a wrench actually leaving.

26:56.98

Matt Townley

Fantastic.

27:04.31

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, yeah.

27:07.60

philjstreet

Mom is almost a wrench beforehand as well. So you but I suppose it's it's It's part of the development that comes to be Ah, there's got to be a ceiling I Guess if if you're still learning and you you're obviously still aspiring to become a general manager. So so what happened next.

27:13.94

Matt Townley

Um.

27:21.29

Matt Townley

Yeah, so so Motram like I say was a wre I'd put down some roots in the area in sort of the the Cheshore area there which was ideal for me at the time. Um I then had the opportunity and let's talk about industry Titans once again, so I then had the opportunity. No indeed.

27:35.26

philjstreet

Ah, it's not like you've not, you've not named Danny so far. Yeah.

27:41.11

Matt Townley

aylor so so tell you the year:

27:42.54

philjstreet

Right.

27:56.42

Matt Townley

I'd gone to York for the short time to to oversee the renovation of the Royal York and in preparation for me moving into a hotel manager all at the what was then the palace in manchestert so in york I teamed up with another industry ti and Stephen Carter just name dropping there again and Steve and I had that.

28:11.48

philjstreet

Yeah.

28:15.69

Matt Townley

And I just had a real wail of a time in York and and what you can get from from a Stephen Carter in in in a period of what eight nine ten months in York was just incredible. It really set me out on the way to he has indeed.

28:25.25

philjstreet

I Can only imagine he's um I mean he's been on the shore obviously and he's He's just one of these guys that makes you feel like we've got this. We've totally got like that. There's nothing that can come up that I haven't seen before. So.

28:38.22

Matt Townley

Here and the the yeah yeah.

28:44.59

philjstreet

Which is obviously not the case but that's the way he um, that's the way he presents himself.

28:46.58

Matt Townley

ster. Um, you know it was a £:

29:11.65

philjstreet

Wow! yeah.

29:18.84

philjstreet

Ah, is that like good luck. Yeah.

29:24.62

Matt Townley

It's like a a rabbit war you know I I remember one day after we'd renovated. They walked in and as you do when you when you look at these hotels you do a walkground and a walk around of the Palace probably took you half a day you you know into the bowels up to the top floor right across the 4 separate buildings. It could take you half a day and I'd obviously missed the corner out one morning and um, never forget that absolutely wiping the floor with me say why haven't you walked this property this morning and again a a learn cave and yeah indeed yeah.

29:54.59

philjstreet

Yeah, well, you'll just make sure that you'll never do that again right? I mean that's that is how you learn you? Yeah totally.

30:03.30

Matt Townley

But but listen it was it was a massive renovation. There was no gm in place at the time. Um I sort of took that on for sort of eight and nine months throughout this renovation sort of managing contractors and rebuild the team and then Michael Pertle arrived and who's now with jamara and just while you. Just left him married. He's just on stars. New job in London and Michael was a a real senior figure who you'd come in to sort of take the helm of the um of the palace and relaunch sort of principle into the uk so it so it was launched from Manchester in the November and the property is huge. You know 400 team members.

30:23.83

philjstreet

Yep.

30:40.21

Matt Townley

Three hundred Bedrooms Twenty two million turnover you know in a real student corridor of Manchester in. In fact, I think it's the busiest bus route in Europe sits outside the hotel. Yeah incredible, incredible property ballroom capacity sort of 6 7 800

30:50.83

philjstreet

Um, really.

30:59.40

Matt Townley

Um, biggest challenge though was 50% of the revenue came in in food and beverage. So obviously huge challenges manager payroll. Um, but but yeah, just a magic magic property I really enjoy my time there as hotel manager and Michael Pertle in terms of talk a again talking industry titans.

31:04.63

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

31:17.90

Matt Townley

Was the most detailed guy I have ever worked with I'll never ever forget writing the openum budget for for what was then going to be principal Manchester which is latterly now Kimpton it's been brought together. Ah and it's now Kimpton branded. Um, but but Michael's attention to detail was incredible. He.

31:29.59

philjstreet

Yeah.

31:36.76

Matt Townley

And never forget we were. We were talking about writing a bu of housekeeper and the hotel was challenged in terms of this There was lots of step access lack of lifts, Etc, etc. And Michael made us walk the the housekeeper's journey from the back door to the signing point the trolley. Stock in the trolley to the first bedroom and made us quantify the time over the year over the annum that that would take that them house heaps. Do it as no productive payroll and you know what I'm still in such a Michael as well. What a great guy. The detail. Ah he just went into the the most minute of detail and and again.

32:00.31

philjstreet

Wow! yeah.

32:13.40

Matt Townley

Something that I'll never ever forget.

32:13.33

philjstreet

But that's that's I mean that's massively important. It's hugely important when you're you're trying to deliver a luxury product but it's important at any product that you go to that level of detail and to to be.

32:19.46

Matt Townley

Yeah.

32:24.95

Matt Townley

Yeah, yeah.

32:28.23

philjstreet

If you didn't know any better. You would be writing that budget then around. Okay, so so this housekeeper's got to do I don't know 13 rooms in the space of however long and that's it. There's no consideration to how long it's going to take for them to actually get to the first room in the first place and then restore everything.

32:38.70

Matt Townley

G.

32:45.46

Matt Townley

Yeah.

32:46.30

philjstreet

At the end of it and um, it's that attention to detail that actually is the difference between success and failure.

32:50.78

Matt Townley

Yeah I think yeah, you're absolutely right I think the other thing that was that was a real starwood capital owned the hadar hotel at the time and what was really interesting was is starwood and the the presence in the uk has grown dramatically over the last few years and yeah.

33:06.35

philjstreet

Yeah.

33:09.57

Matt Townley

Probably the biggest experience I had there was dealing with them asset managers for star war the people like Codi Bradshaw um they wanted the hotel to be quite credible in the cities. So that's where in that hotel principle which is now kimson they've got the refuge which was huge canous space. Um. I think that was probably my first experience of managing different stakeholders. so so again we brought in 2 2 2 gentlemen who were very credible in Manchester two xdjs call 8 una bombers Luke and Justin to really curate the space in in the refuge and we open that refuge and. Honestly Manchester just flocked and one of the strap lines was come as you are just just come in whatever you dressed in and and behave like you behave and it was really sort of you had this luxury principal brand to tell which was super luxury and everything that they even thought of every detail through the brand people and um and then you had this refuge on the ground floor which you know. Breakfast on it on a Tuesday would be 450 some they launch with be 300 you know? Yeah, it was regular on a Saturday this restaurant bar would turn over 75 k more night and there was all kinds going on. There was a nightclub there. There was.

34:11.15

philjstreet

Right.

34:18.11

philjstreet

Right.

34:23.17

Matt Townley

You know there was events going on in the outside areas so massive business to to manage you know, very very very big business but absolutely great. Fun. Let me tell you.

34:30.81

philjstreet

Yeah, well and again you're you're getting new strings to your ball right? in terms of thinking this way and you could argue actually that that allowing people to come to your property as they are is is a luxury Mindset. You're not trying to pigeonhole people into your way of doing things. You're saying look. We've created this beautiful space for you. Come and enjoy it.

34:51.10

Matt Townley

Yeah, for sure what we have to remember is again, go back to that community thing fell Manchester is very diverse. It's very inclusive as a city you you know you cannot you cannot you know, ostracize anybody or you know and and Luke one of the guys who curated the space.

34:57.74

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

35:10.84

Matt Townley

He he used this term in an early interview and and he said we are uniting the clans of Manchester and I think that was a real master stroke because you know you'd be sitting there on a Friday afternoon and you'd have a group of students in 1 corner. A a group of. Businessman in the any of the corner a group of young women in the other corner celebrating the hindoo or you know it was it was so diverse and and that's ultimately what made it successful.

35:33.46

philjstreet

Yeah, and you created a buzz and you sort of ah a great place to be great energy again. Will come back to that word. Um, and um, yeah, fantastic sounds sounds amazing and again you just keep dropping these Titan names into into the mix and um.

35:38.60

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, yeah.

35:52.85

philjstreet

I keep trying to get David Taylor on the show by the way if you're listening David if you're listening David. Yeah, absolutely but all in good time all in good time I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. So there's many many more people to interview yet. Um, no, that's really cool. So your hotel manager at this point.

35:54.11

Matt Townley

Um, we'll have to give him a morge film. Yeah, we'll give him a nuge.

36:11.64

philjstreet

I'm under the the under Michael um, and then yeah and then um, how long were you there for.

36:17.20

Matt Townley

my next move of ma maison in:

37:04.97

philjstreet

Yeah, this wonderful thing about that is and this is a message that should get out a lot more because I think people are generally in a rush to get to the top right? as quickly as you can. But if you get there too quickly and you hadn't if you had taken that general Manager's job of no doubt that you would have been.

37:15.59

Matt Townley

Absolutely.

37:23.75

philjstreet

Successful, but look at what you would have missed out on look at all of the other things that you would have not had exposure to and therefore you would have been a did I say a lesser Gm um.

37:24.60

Matt Townley

In.

37:33.42

Matt Townley

Yeah now I absolutely agree with that feeling and and you know I was in a rush in the in m early twenty s I wasn't a rush I wanted to be a Gm yesterday. Um, where I think that moved from mal to moroom really matured me and really sort of you have to be commercial. We. The business were for sale. We absolutely had to over commercial edge it really really delivered. Ah a commercial edge and sales and market and really came to the to the for there because we had to deal with that. Probably when you were mal you know back when mal was was what it was in in two thousand and ten eleven when I was there you know.

37:55.50

philjstreet

Yeah.

38:08.92

Matt Townley

Very much focused on the operation as Deputy Gm The gms took on all the sale the market and the the commerciality the business. So I think that move to moroom was was ah was a really good move for me. A really great move and and then latterally on a principle where the sum of moving part is I mean you cannot Imagine. What the day to day looked like there. It was just so Busy. So great. Um, yeah, well it will come on the and.

38:29.81

philjstreet

Yeah I can only imagine the stories which maybe we'll get maybe we'll get onto that and no, but that's cool I mean I at the probably your day one at morum you realized? Holy. Cow I've got a lot to learn and you probably felt that again when you were at Principal like when you went ah you you've you've just done this wonderful spell with moram where you've learned so much and then you walk through the door on day one and get the keys launched at you and and you're like holy cow I've got.

38:47.80

Matt Townley

Yeah, yeah I did I did but it was very very mean. Yeah. Yeah.

39:06.71

Matt Townley

but but I think Phil you know you know pressure pays the mortgage right? So if you don't feel pressure and you don't feel like you've stepped up then wouldn't life be so easy. You know you may.

39:06.89

philjstreet

I Have to learn it all again.

39:17.56

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

39:22.20

Matt Townley

You should be performing a role that you want not not the role that you're in and and I always say that to to my team now go go go deliver the role that you actually want not the role that you're sat now got go act like you're in the role that you want tomorrow and and that's something out that I really took on and again talk about lane and if you stop laing, it's time to move on.

39:38.84

philjstreet

Yeah, but that's genius that concept though of go and perform at the role that you want because that you know you're you're putting yourself in the shoes of this is where I want to be so I have to go and perform and it's something I always talk about when I'm interviewing people and I ask people you're that.

39:41.60

Matt Townley

And my opinion.

39:58.41

philjstreet

Horrible interview question that people still ask around where did you see yourself in 5 years time and it's actually I used to really despise it as a question but for me, it gives it gives me a real clear insight into whether somebody's actually genuinely thought about where they're going.

40:02.40

Matt Townley

See yeah.

40:16.60

philjstreet

Um, and it doesn't matter if you don't fulfill that 5 year plan because things change and you know stuff happens but always look at where you would like to be in 5 years time and what's the gap in between of the skill that you have that stops you doing this job right now and go and fill in the gaps. that's that's it

40:34.50

Matt Townley

Yeah I think I was probably quite lucky Phil of Mony you know I probably wasn't that intelligent to think you like that at the time in the left mal and during moterm I probably wasn't thinking where to my gaps but I was seeing opportunities as wow look what I can go and do and.

40:34.98

philjstreet

It's as simple as that.

40:53.20

philjstreet

Yeah I can only imagine.

40:53.26

Matt Townley

That backfilled that knowledge and but I certainly certainly certainly I would say that any young aspire and gms go get as much experience as you can as a number two because when you're number one the book stop to you. You know there's no umbrella all right look look. There's always going to be an umbrella of a brand around you. But ultimately the book stops to you and.

41:04.74

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

41:12.86

Matt Townley

You know I would absolutely not change anything above their moves in them. Deputygm Resident Manager Hotel Manager roles. You know I learned so watching such short space of time and and it got to me. It got me to the to the big job. The the dream role is in essence.

41:26.20

philjstreet

Yeah, and and well that's the ba gone I was gonna say it. It was absolute gold as well. I'm sure it was um, but and it was something to do with the the fact that actually's there We are. It's being a Deputy is a wonderful training ground.

41:42.55

Matt Townley

You know.

41:44.44

philjstreet

To the number 1 job right? I mean and it is your opportunity to go and find the shoes that you're supposed to be filling and find more out about you and find make your mistakes and you know and and all of these things because if you've got a good leader ahead of you. They'll be allowing you to do this.

41:59.46

Matt Townley

Yeah, and absolutely agree with that and and and in essence again Phil say that's what we allow our team to do now decota. It's it's a goal to grow to make mistakes. You know we we promote young talents. You know sometimes maybe a little bit ahead in time but we support them in that growth and and that's what so. So magic about the culture and actually but I'm sure it comes that in a moment as well. Yeah, yeah.

42:19.39

philjstreet

Well that seems like a very good segue actually and to because you're you're leaving principle and then you're going to Dakota as you said so you described it as the dream job.

42:31.50

Matt Townley

Yeah, listen at the time I yeah you you know when you're ready you'll probably know yourself you know it when when you're ready to take that that leap of faith Ethan I was aware. Did they coat it in leads. Um. 1 of my colleagues was a chef who who worked in leads and had introduced me to the coter many many months before twelve months before the opportunity you even arose and you know it looked like a brand that that I really sort of aligned with I aligned with the culture and I'd worked when I said worked alongside Kenned Ken Mcculloch had just sold my maison in sort of the late 90 s did I say um and off we went to to Monaco but by the time I had joined Mal Ken was this enigma and Ken was this. You know you know we use the word kenism and in in the days that it comes to nar but Ken had set Hiss Brando um in Scotland um and it was a fast-paced brand. You know you know, Ken just an incredible guy. so so I really I jumped at the opportunity and when the codes came knocking on the door. Um I had a very candid conversation with David Taylor at the time I knew the time was right for me and and so I made the leap and never regretted any minute any minute of actually so it's fantastic. So I opened I joined the brand a year before we we went into the preopen phase in Manchester um.

43:48.50

philjstreet

Yeah, how long have you been with the quarter note.

44:00.20

Matt Townley

So I joined the brand in March Two Thousand and eighteen hotel opened in May nineteen um and that was just to allow me to to acclimatize and and we'll we'll talk about the owners in a bit more detail later on. But. The owners were really committed to getting the flagship right and committed to get the right person for for the gm role and some of you knew the city of Manchester I'd been in around Manchester a long time by this point and and I think for me, it just allowed me to come back to a brand that i. Absolutely aligned with service focused magic fa lighthearted all of the people all about young talent. Um, and and the opportunity to go and work with Kent again and Ken was in the twilight years and and he's he's retired recently in the in the last few years but time spent with Ken in that year period before preopment I'll never ever. Forget. Never forget and so inspirational and and everything he looks at a hotel in a very very different way than than anybody else ever looks as ever looked looked at a hotel that I've that I've worked with and.

44:56.52

philjstreet

Like.

45:10.79

Matt Townley

It's all about the ambiance. the music the lighting the temperature making it ripe for the guest focus on the detail being almost invisible in in your in your service and and ultimately the main answer is doing the simple things really really brilliantly. You know I think one one of 1 of the kenisms is you know we sell it like a movie.

45:22.66

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

45:29.39

Matt Townley

You know, but we don't sell it like kind of tell we sell it like a movie. It's that magic. Um, so it's an opportunity to work with Ken um, quite a small structure of the coat said there's no sort of head office. Um, ah you know those there's a couple of people that that sit in it in sort of senior olds as an opside up there and and a. Found the stroke manager director. Um, so there's no big red tap and with big hells to jump through it whenever you need anything and I think you know it's privately owned the cupta um by by a family and honestly feel you could not wish for a better. Um, you know.

46:04.52

philjstreet

Right.

46:07.10

Matt Townley

We have a direct line and into the owner. Um and he you know anything you need. Yeah anything you need. He's there. Yeah, it's all about the guest. It's all about the people you know listen Ultimately we have to be commercially successful. Of course.

46:10.79

philjstreet

Like I mean it can make a break right? I can make a break the situation.

46:23.20

Matt Townley

But but the owner will only ever ask me how the guests are how our people are um how the guests feeling you know are they enjoying is it value for money. We still value for money. We still are best. So so again I think you know ownership was really really important important for me time spent with Ken just incredible and then it came to may. Well I should maybe mention February Two Thousand and nineteen but my first born was born and so a month and a half before the hotel opened um that was an inestine time Phil your firstborn and uncle in hotel within five weeks was

46:45.64

philjstreet

Um, okay.

46:55.86

philjstreet

Yeah, did you move house as well. It's the just you know? Okay, right.

46:59.91

Matt Townley

the Manchester and and ah may:

47:32.65

philjstreet

Yeah, well, you're now in a ah regional role I don't I don't know why I did that. But anyway the um, what? So so what's your region. What are you looking after.

47:38.57

Matt Townley

That's right? yeah.

47:42.66

Matt Townley

. And they came to leadeds in:

48:51.93

philjstreet

Um, right or gods but cold cold a meeting that day. Yeah.

48:57.50

Matt Townley

t after we've reopened and in:

50:53.43

philjstreet

A bit.

51:01.36

philjstreet

Yeah, well I feel like what I give you a round of applause man that's it's a hell of a journey is a hell of a journey and I suppose in many ways because what you say you're you're 37 now so you know you're um, you're still a young man. You've still got a hell of a lot to give.

51:04.88

Matt Townley

Um, and flow.

51:11.40

Matt Townley

Um, yeah.

51:19.89

philjstreet

I would imagine um but it feels like you've found a home as it were um and and yeah and and and that definitely comes across it once again I come back to energy. Um I don't think you can act with energy if you are not.

51:25.40

Matt Townley

Um, yeah, but.

51:39.76

philjstreet

And a place that allows you to to be like that that allows you to be yourself that allows you to to impart what you've learned along the way.

51:44.93

Matt Townley

Yeah I agree and I think what da coach allows me to do is is to be who I am to lead the team in the way I like to lead the team um with a real feeling of you know if you do drop a ball along the way that it will be caught you know. It's quite a young dynamic brand with with with expansion plans you know in in the pipeline as as we speak? Um, but actually you know that whole make people feel good about making people feel good is something that we that we. We live and die by every day we turn every corner we make our team feel the best they can feel in order to make our guest feel go down and I think that's all it comes down to Phil you know Dacoter is is absolutely magic when you spend time with Ken and you and you listen to Ken and you know that. The forefront of everything we do is is that culture of service and and you you should step through the front doors with the codes of talent and be transports to anywhere you want to man Manhattan mayfa Manchester whatever you want to be but we're quite fun and and quite lighthearted. But there's a very serious. Siege mentality in this hotel and and certainly in Manchester that that we've embedded into that open and I know you don't get 1 chance open open a hotel. You don't get 2 chances I mean some of my colleagues in Manchester they get 2 chances I can think of Paul Baylis hotel Brooklyn he opened this hotel twice because the pandemic and we always laugh about that. But.

53:13.30

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

53:17.37

Matt Townley

You know, only get 1 chance to set that tone from the off you don't get 2 chances. You can't sit their own way sort of 8 till 34 and expect everybody else at to to be at the you know, ah at the coldage and you know delivering your hospitality. So really importantly, you get it right from the office and I think that's what week. We essentially did get it right from the office in in this hotel but certainly you think about? can you think about everything he says what was selling it like a movie I found my place because I feel really really comfortable on this brand I feel really comfortable where the brand's gonna grow and expand and we've we've got succession of pipeline opportunities for our people. Um, and ultimately so long as we do continue to grow I'm very very happy but now.

53:59.97

philjstreet

Yeah, well it sounds like you would potentially be a benefactor of any future growth in anyway. But you can never know right I mean but the but certainly for now there is as somebody here's another cliche. There is only this moment right? So it seems like in this moment you are.

54:15.10

Matt Townley

Yeah, and they. Yeah, Absolutely all busy. Yeah.

54:19.77

philjstreet

Exactly where you're supposed to be um, yeah and I just realized that Jurgen Clop says in this moment a lot. So. There's a a little There's a little liveral dropin as well. But um, no cool. So um, actually a quick question around that you mentioned that you had your first born in 192 um, how how do you manage? It's because you you've just mentioned as well. You're kind of a lead from the front if you're you know I assume that there are moments where you have to go away and do the family thing and all of that sort of stuff. But how do you manage that? How do you get the best out of that situation.

54:51.50

Matt Townley

Just probably depends you gonna ask you if you're asking me that question I'm gonna give very different answer to my miss. Um, but but but in essence right? hospitality' is a tough gig. You know you can't be clock watching the minute your clock watch the minute you don't I've got a very very supportive home life. My. Father and instilled in me work ethic and I certainly inherited his work I think he worked until he died a couple of years ago he works seven days a week for for 25 years you know should that work ethic is ingraing in me. So. So ultimately what that means is um. Do I strike the work life balance cliche probably not. However, that is you've got to pick your moment like you say pick your moment if it's quiet on a Wednesday even at five o'clock and you can get out the door brilliant. However, my life includes. Saturday days work late night overnight night and leave nights and Manchester entertaining our ah clients. Um, so in essence it's probably always something in the back of the mind that you know you you probably have to but to spend a bit more time at home. But. You know when you're doing something you love this is your life as well. so so so so you know if you have a day off. Fantastic. You have two days off it's an absolute bolus and and on their days off your phone might ring, etc, etc and some people will go find that balance themselves everybody has their own tipping point and what is your tipping point where you need to switch off and.

56:04.31

philjstreet

Um, yeah, yeah.

56:22.43

Matt Townley

On holiday and and spend some absolute quality time at home I find that time. Um I'm sure my miss would tell me I don't find enough for that time. Um, but ultimately what makes a successful business is but by the person who set the tone set the energy set. The pace is seen late at night and early in the morning and. Every time it every time drop the day in the middle. What's really good is what this brand is. We don't really have officers in averter commerce for gms or or anybody who doesn't ah essentially need an office. So so I will be based from the floor and the bar and the grills you know, talking to the to the team in the kitchen or. Usually you'll fire me at Nine o'clock in the morning I'll be with housekeeping that's when they they do their briefing with with the housekeepers and so I know that at that time for 25 minutes of my day that that's meant with the housekeepers I'll catch it with the breakfast chef usually ah a quarter to 8 in the morning and then you know you might catch up with. Hotel manager at Eight o'clock at 9 throw Nine o'clock at night whatever that might be so so I'm probably not the best example of finding a worklife balance but my home life allows me to to really subagege myself into the culture of the business and and that's what that's what's really exciting about this brand.

57:35.65

philjstreet

Yeah I mean I think there's there's probably 2 things in play there one you know communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship right? So I'm assuming that your misses understands what it takes to be successful in the space that you're operating in. Um, well we'll maybe have a separate conversation with her about that at some point um, please please don't I thought you were going to say there and and um and the second point is is that you know you you found something that you love to do so you know that's that's another cliche but you know you're doing something that doesn't.

57:53.81

Matt Townley

Um, please please do and.

58:11.83

philjstreet

Actually feel like work because you know for you. It's not a job. It's a lifestyle if this is part of your lifestyle. Um, and that's the secret to happiness I Think when it comes oh there's never a bad time for a cliche.

58:21.86

Matt Townley

Is now the time for the Cliche film. Let's let's drop this one in if you enjoy what you do, you'll never work a day in your life I'm not or really.

58:30.83

philjstreet

Fantastic. Yes, in fact I think I think Stephen Taylor might have said that one actually yeah yeah that you're not, you're not the first with that one but you're absolutely what but cliches are ah little snippets of wisdom aren't they they are just exactly that and.

58:41.91

Matt Townley

It's a great cling shape.

58:46.15

Matt Townley

Yeah, me.

58:49.37

philjstreet

Um, but it's you know that to me sounds like you're you're the role model here because you've found something that makes you that ignites you and gets you up to to go to work because it doesn't feel like work as I say it's it's more of a lifestyle. Um. And I think that's absolutely key. But I think the other key thing with this is is that that mentality might not come to you on day. 1 of starting your career you know and generally speaking the more knowledge you go out and get about your craft. The.

59:15.94

Matt Townley

Possibly.

59:25.47

philjstreet

The more natural things come to you the more you feel like you've found your space and.

59:28.70

Matt Townley

Yeah, and it couldn't be easier. Doesn't it Phil because what happens then is on a let's just take today for example, after after we finish now Wednesday's really the commercial day Wednesdays day when we look at what's happening in the businesses we look at the the payroll level. We got the right amount of payroll. You know. Not a business that looks at a p and l from the botmoth we look at a pm p and l from the top down have we got enough people enough team members on the rosters to deliver unbelievable service. so so Wednesday's a real commercial day. You know we we would look at we look at payroll we look at forecasts we look at previous month look at next week et cetera e cetera etc. But. What that allows me to do is is go and spend maybe evolved my role slightly. We've got a hotel manager in Manchester. We've got a hotel manager leads but allows us to really embed ourselves into community that we took touched on earlier. So we've got sort of collaborations in this hotel. You know. Think we're the onlyel that's signed up to greater Manchester's good employment charter and with Andy Burnham who's on everyone's lips at the moment you know we we partner with charity so reach out which is a mentoring challenge charity for children from like challenge backgrounds. Um.

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philjstreet

Yep.

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philjstreet

Right.

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Matt Townley

We've got a mini sort of relationship. Um, almost a mini curriculum with the co-op academy in swinden whereby we are their nominated school through the Manchester hoteliers association um we regularly put on e the tame side college you know the other side of the town so that allows us to spend. You know more time doing doing the right things these the right things to do to inspire young people into our industry and I take good pride and in the amount of time I actually spend dealing with community schools colleges charity dare I even mention the institute of hospitality where i.

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philjstreet

Yeah.

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Matt Townley

Chair the northwest region ah of the institute hospitality. So Dakota allow me to go and to go and do that as well. Which is just it's just a great place to be. It's like a and a Disney Role might you say.

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philjstreet

Yeah, well I mean the the ios is your wider community isn't it of hospitality. That's you know so that still still feeds into that community spirit element but you know that this is something that is becoming more and more apparent to me the more conversations I have with people and I've been lucky enough.

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Matt Townley

Um, yeah.

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philjstreet

As you know to speak to quite a wide section of people from from the industry and there are people who just inspire me on ah a day-to-day basis and I'm going to bring up Danny Pecarelli once again, just because of the I have had had this theory in the back of my head for a long time about business lost its way for quite a long time.

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Matt Townley

Guys. Yeah.

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philjstreet

And terms of why it's there in the first place and it's you know for a long time. It's been about the cash profits important in business without question but the use of that profit has been misdirected and it's out of balance a little bit and now if you're wanting to be an employer who.

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Matt Townley

Yep.

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philjstreet

People want to get on board with and want to come and work for you've got to be thinking about what are you doing with your profit as in what are we doing to save the world. What are we doing to save our local community. What are we doing to just make things better and not just about lining Shareholders pockets.

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Matt Townley

A.

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philjstreet

Ah, etct etc and I definitely I'm not getting into a a political debate on that because I do believe that profit is massively important that there is no business without it. Um, but it's about finding the balance. The people who take the risk to start the business in the first place should be rewarded for that risk but not for the sake of everything else.

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Matt Townley

E.

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Matt Townley

Yeah I couldn listen apply that to our industry. You know one of the biggest challenges and is stakeholder management in the in the in ukosity you know you know you go venture capitalists. You got private owners. You know everybody has a different objective. You know.

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philjstreet

Anyway, that's my run over for the date.

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Matt Townley

People need return on investments in some in in some companies and that you have to line yourself with that branding if you want to go work for a brand that is owned by a venture capitalist then that's fantastic but be prepared to spend more time at the at the sharp end looking at your p and L and making sure you delivering that objective for for your own app.

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philjstreet

Um, yeah.

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philjstreet

Ah.

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Matt Townley

I chose this brand in the moment in time that we're in working for an owner that was absolutely focused on delivering the best service delivery in the city that that that he opens or tells him. So ultimately, you have to be do you reset. It is what I would say to anybody you know it go if you if you want to be really sharp, challenged commercially. You can go down 1 route if you want to go and work for a privately owned company that generally understand that that repeat guest is so important to the p and l then then then choose that company as well. But for sure listen we all have to run a commercial business but we all have to be commercially successful otherwise as you know as the gm.

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philjstreet

Absolutely.

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Matt Townley

If you're not running a commercial business. You're not, You're not the Gm anymore if it's it's straightforward as that but people have a choice as well. Right.

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philjstreet

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and but there's a company out there for everyone right I think that's ah the the key point um and vice versa. Um, so yeah, cool right? I think it's story time which is not not something of historically cold this section of the show. But um.

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Matt Townley

Believes.

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philjstreet

But yeah from your your career so far. Um and just knowing that the type of person that you are the um, there's got to be some stories that ah that you can share. Yeah I mean.

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Matt Townley

Um, today that is some stories indeed and we'll keep them clean right? yeah.

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philjstreet

But that clean is fine. Um, we have had some unclean stories on the show. But um, it's all about your reputation here Matt so um, you have to make sure you walk away. Well yeah, ah.

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Matt Townley

Yeah, but it's its tinyish nor e feelinglo yeah, and the funniest story that sticks out and in my mind, there's a couple actually I've got one about Ken so so the first one about Ken. Yeah.

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philjstreet

Now he's retired now so safe. That's safe.

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Matt Townley

Yeah, you got to know Ken but I'm in a competitive, a competitive hotel with Kent one afternoon and we're just walyical about all things, hospitality and service and and you know how good's the coffee I bad this to that and Ken just comes out and says wow. These guys really know how to put the hospital in hospitality don't they but and and you know that is synonymous with Ken and that is a really good kenism. But I think one of the funniest moments I've ever had of my career and at the time it wasn't not funny. Let me tell you Phil was but we take you back to mushroom hall so but.

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philjstreet

Ah.

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Matt Townley

Probably:

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philjstreet

Um, I mean it's It's quite a narrow narrow list straight away. No.

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Matt Townley

And x exchange bond and he and his wife had been followed by the paparazzi they they were performing somewhere locally I think with books and theaterats that were not mistaken. Um paparati come down the drive we get the we get them into the room overnight really look after them. Um, and it comes to the next day in his departure time. So James Stewart being James Stewart leads from the front. We all have to be ready at the bedroom door ready to see Mr Bond and his and his wife out at the hotel ah me being a overzealous resident manager. Time 24 years of age 25 years of age I I was there front center ready to play concierce take the bags to the to the black dog vehicle outside and and way they'd go but I remember that there was aqueue of us that the corridor was quite narrow so there was and resort manager direct there. Me as resident manager and and I think maybe the conference and bankrupt manager and certainly the director of sales Emma was there as well and the door opens and Mr Bond who will remain nameless for now point to the luggage, etc, etc and maybe in that overzealous 24 year old straight into the room. Grabs the first suitcase in my right hand that I can and yank it up um to to transport it out unbeknownst to me Mrs Bond hasn't tied the suitcase up. So I as I pull the suitcase off the floor into midair. The bottom of the suitcase just flaps open both and as you can imagine all of the contents fallout including in nickckers. All of a medicine and I just remember hearing a cry from the corner of oh no and you don't you just want the world to eat you and just.

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philjstreet

Ah, no.

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philjstreet

Yes.

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Matt Townley

Want to get open and just disappear but that was certainly one of the most embarrassing moments in my career I should have just been a little bit more calculated a bit slower in what what I was gonna do. But yeah I'll never ever forget that day and and to this day now we we look back at that moment and I'm I'm going red actually talkingkins. Yeah.

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philjstreet

Yeah, and ah I can I can kind of feel your pain I think we've all we've all had moments like that right? where you just oh God What have I just done and I you know what? what I love about that story more than anything and else is that I thought that that was absolutely nailed on.

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Matt Townley

Bottom bodice.

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Matt Townley

Um, yeah, it's lovely.

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philjstreet

That you were going to say that you're at this kind of welcoming line and Mr Bond came up to you and you went. You've said something like I've been expecting you or something. That's what I thought but but that's the obvious talk isn't it. Um, but no, that's that's a cracker. Yeah, and but you know these are.

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Matt Townley

I will.

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philjstreet

Inevitable things that happen right? as part of your gross and development. You'll never rush into a room again. Um and just pick up. Ah you know a case over zealously without checking everything first right.

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Matt Townley

Part? yeah.

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Matt Townley

Um, yeah, so might say I'll never switch a suitcase ever again. Phil who knows.

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philjstreet

Ah, yeah, well I'm lucky enough to have a wife who likes loves to pack. So she's like I'll do I'll take care of the packing that's fine by me. Um, great stuff. Well I mean I'm just a little bit conscious of time. But um, what would.

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Matt Townley

This Yeah brilliant. Yeah.

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philjstreet

You say are your your top 3 reasons why somebody should come and join hospitality.

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Matt Townley

Um, um, so I'd say first and foremost the first reason say you're gonna be part of people's best moments you know and that's really magic. You know birthdays weddings bar miters. You know if you've got a real true love and passion for people. How lucky are we to be involved in people's best moments. Obviously you're involved in people's worst moments as well. I get that but you know being part of people's best moments. You know if you go and work for barkela card and sat in in office. You're not really going to be part of people's most celebrated and memorable moment. So I think for me, that's one. I think do the one would be I'd use the word opportunity. So so you know you can grow a career in seconds. You can be farreaching diverse. You know you can be a chef you can be in h chart a Gm finance home abroad you know budget luxury. You know you can forge the path. You're gonna go on board. My advice on that note would be. You know, find an employer who aligns with you that that is the most important thing there and I think you know the the third thing and we've touched on a couple of times. Ah, another reason to join hospitality is community. You know I like to to talk to people and I like to. You know, be out and about and surround yourself with lightminded people. You know all over the world. Manchester's good example. We are absolutely collaborative. You know with with the Manchester hotelies association that is our community of hotels at Manchester and you know you know and with that community that.

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philjstreet

Yeah.

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Matt Townley

There's no better feeling than being in in you know, an underprivileged community but we're actually flying the hospitality flag in in in a community in Manchester that's a really important important thing. So so for me, being part of people's best moments being involved in a community and the opportunities are endless.

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philjstreet

Yeah, and and I always that just add in the fun because that you're you're a great exponent of that as well and I yeah you know that it kind of should go without saying I suppose but the but this industry is an awful lot of fun.

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Matt Townley

Um, yeah.

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Matt Townley

Absolutely absolutely.

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philjstreet

Fantastic! Great stuff. Well if people want to get a hold of you to learn about you or Dakota and where you're going next? What's what's the best method for them to do that.

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Matt Townley

Best thing is Linkedin Matt only but certainly drop me an email anytime. It's empty at Dakota hotels with AnSDotCodeDotU k

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philjstreet

Fantastic. And yeah I have to say that you are. There's a lesson actually that that others could learn from you in how to deal with recruiters when they're when they're knocking on your door because I've always remembered you Um, ah you dealt with me. Ah, wonderfully professionally, but with ah with personality and fun and I've always remembered that and I've always um, greatly respected you for that. So You're an absolute shining light for this industry and in fact I probably should end with this. This is a lovely this would banish you So I um.

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Matt Townley

No no.

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philjstreet

Add, um, add a quick gander on your Linkedin profile before we um, we turned on the microphone. There's a lovely ah endorsement from Kelly Rixon ah Matt is a hospitality operator who represents everything that's great with our industry I think that sums you up.

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Matt Townley

All right.

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philjstreet

Absolutely perfectly. Um, thank you so much for everything you do and thank you so much for being that energy that the the industry needs. No worries at all take care.

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Matt Townley

Brilliant. Thanks Phil.