A chat with Stuart Bathgate, Guest Services Manager for the Mediterranean & Ski overseas teams
Stuart Bathgate, our Guest Service Manager, is in charge of the recruitment and the selection process of our chefs and hosts for our chalets and villas. It is also his responsibility to ensure outstanding staff training, so that our guests experience fabulous service throughout their holiday with us.
Tell us a little about some of the exciting parts of your job?
An extremely exciting part of my role is being involved in the recruitment and selection process for our chefs and hosts for our summer villa and winter chalet teams. Although we tend to have a high percentage of returning members of the resort teams, natural progression and our expanding programme means that our Overseas Recruitment Team is always on the lookout for exceptional candidates. I will be in the UK next week assisting with the UK recruitment.
At the start of each summer and winter season, along with my colleague Rob Daley our Executive Chef and our training team, I am responsible for looking after our chef and host training programmes. These intensive training courses consist of several days of training, often in multiple resorts. Our new teams are fully briefed on all of the Scott Dunn standards and procedures where they have the opportunity to practice each area of their new roles. Communication is key and we also invite our returning team members to attend and ask them to share their experiences and examples of best practice with their new colleagues.
What about the Scott Dunn villas and chalet set-up?
Another very important area of my responsibility is overseeing our property set-up in each resort. It is crucial that our teams are fully briefed on all aspects of their villas or chalets and take complete ownership. We allow enough time for each team to carry out some practice meals and learn and practise all aspects of the Scott Dunn service before they meet their guests.
I have the privilege of working very closely with Rob Daley, our Executive Chef (he has the best job!) His passion and enthusiasm is relentless and he constantly strives to ensure that all our chefs are producing the finest quality of dishes possible, depending on the food available to us in each resort. I get so much pleasure from observing (and tasting) our chefs amazing food during our training programms and Rob works closely with each member of his team during the season, sharing new ideas and current food trends, in line with seasonal and local ingredients.
When do you start planning for the ski season?
Planning for our ski programme has already begun, from selecting our wines with Andrew Dunn, agreeing the spirits range for our Premier and Flagship Chalets, to choosing and purchasing the tea, coffee, breakfast cereals, range of toiletries for our chalets and not forgetting Christmas Puddings and Christmas cakes.
What “brands” does Scott Dunn endorse?
We have a great partnership with British Airways and work alongside some fabulous brands such as “Cowshed” toiletries, “Laurent-Perrier” champagne, “Clipper Teas”, “Rude Health” natural foods and “Sipsmith” spirits. We try and look for emerging products that are “on brand” with Scott Dunn.
Do you get to talk to guests very often?
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to chat with some of our guests, sometimes before and sometimes after their holiday. I always make sure I personally pass on all specific points of feedback and recognition from our guests to the teams in resort. Feedback on the performance of our teams is always hugely appreciated in recognition of their efforts. We do highly value our team’s commitment to our standards of service and appreciate all that they do - personalised feedback from our guests always serves as the highest form of recognition for their individual and team efforts.
How does Scott Dunn stay ahead of their game in terms of service in resort?
We are constantly striving for perfection and always looking for ideas, suggestions and feedback to improve the service levels that we offer. Tailoring our service to create the perfect holiday in our guest’s eyes is what we constantly aim for. We have amazing teams of dedicated and caring individuals in resort who always do the best they can to give all of our guests their best holiday ever.