Πρόκειται για έναν από τους κορυφαίους καθηγητές στον τομέα του Hospitality & Tourism Management. Εδώ και 33 χρόνια, ο “γκουρού” του hospitality (όπως έχει χαρακτηριστεί) Professor Andrew Lockwood διδάσκει στο University of Surrey της Αγγλίας, το οποίο έχει ανακηρυχθεί ως παγκόσμιος ηγέτης στο hospitality management, με αποτέλεσμα να το εμπιστεύονται όλο και περισσότεροι φοιτητές από όλες τις μεριές του πλανήτη για το προπτυχιακό ή μεταπτυχιακό τους.
Στον οδηγό πανεπιστημιών “UK Complete university guide 2020” συμπεριλαμβάνεται στο top 3 για hospitality, leisure, recreation & tourism, ενώ στον οδηγό του Guardian είναι μέσα στο top 5 για hospitality, event management & tourism.
Ο Lockwood σε μία αποκλειστική συνέντευξη για το ρόλο της γαστρονομίας στην επιτυχία ενός ξενοδοχείου.
GD: You are a leading hospitality educator. The University of Surrey where you teach has been awarded as a leading International Hospitality Management location worldwide. In your opinion what are your competitive advantages and what are your plans for the future?
I am currently the Forte Professor of Hospitality Management at the University of Surrey where I have worked for just over 33 years. I think the key things that have set us apart from other universities over such a long period are our strong collegiality and identity, our world class research record, our beautiful campus, and our wonderful students and alumni who can be found in managerial positions all over the world.
Our plans for the future involve the construction on campus of a 250 bedroom hotel, which will also become the new home for the School, and the development of programmes that can draw on the resources of the hotel to deliver new and exciting experiences for our students.
GD: How do you see the segment of gastronomy and what is its overall role to the success of a hotel?
We have recently seen the publication of the 6th edition of Food and Beverage Management by Davis, Lockwood, Alcott and Pantelidis. This book covers the whole gamut of food and drink service operations from fine dining to fast food, from contract food service to catering in hospitals and even prisons.
Given the wide range of potential experiences that the sector offers from a celebration to a sandwich at your desk, I think the sector is one of the most important aspects of our everyday (and not so everyday) lives that in some ways is taken for granted.
The contribution that gastronomy makes to a hotel will depend to a large extent on the nature of that hotel property and the requirements of the customers it sets out to cater for. In some hotels, this will be at a primarily functional level, where a customer is away from home and needs something to eat. In others, it will at a hedonistic level, where the gastronomy is the main aspect of the experience.
At whatever place on the spectrum between these extremes a hotel is, it must deliver an appropriate level of quality and deliver an appropriate level of profit.
GD: If you were a hotelier, what would be the gastronomic characteristics of your enterprise?
First, I would start with an exceptional breakfast experience. Not only is this the most important meal of the day but it is also potentially the last opportunity I have to impress the guest before they leave. To mean this means freshly prepared, a good range of dishes and above all crispy bacon.
Second, would be a leisurely but light lunch al fresco. This would obviously mean that the hotel would need to be located somewhere that could deliver year round sunshine but with temperatures that were never too hot or too cold. Living in the UK, these conditions very rarely apply so you have to take any opportunities that do present themselves.
My dinner option becomes a little more complicated. I would love to have a fine dining restaurant but the idea of eating a seven course tasting menu every day would soon pale, although the attention to detail and the engagement with top class ingredients to deliver exceptional flavours wouldn’t.
I am also strongly in favour of playing to your strengths by doing one thing extremely well – take Flat Iron, London as an example – but the same thing every day doesn’t work either. So I get to a fine dining operation with a limited menu, where a number of signature dishes rotate on a regular basis and to accord with the seasons. But I just want one course, then that is fine.
GD: In your opinion, in what ways could Gastronomic Diff collaborate with a hospitality organisation?
Having sources of commentary and information that are relevant to a hospitality organisation is where Gastronomic Diff can make a contribution to any hospitality organisation.
For me, it would be providing insights that my students would find interesting, involving and potentially challenging with the authority of industry relevance.
GD: Finally please share with us your advice to your future hospitality students?
The hospitality industry is huge, global, dynamic, challenging, exciting and involving and one you can never get away from BUT it requires a high level of commitment, engagement and passion if you are to receive its rewards. But it will never be dull.