By Harry Cragoe, Owner of The Gallivant

This week we announced the introduction of an innovative new pay and bonus structure for our team at The Gallivant.

The new scheme means that the hotel is now one of the only hotels in the UK to pay their team £9 or more per hour, an additional performance based bonus and also a share of the company’s profits at the end of the financial year. And we’re no longer adding a service charge onto the bill, but instead we’ve made some small amendments to the menu pricing, ensuring fair pay across the team.

But how did this all come about, and why did I feel it was necessary?

I didn’t believe the tronc system fairly distributed tips to those that most deserved it and on the flip side potentially rewarded those that didn’t.  I tried to take the position of the hard working, professional who was working alongside someone that was just going through the motions, it would be seriously demotivating if that person got as much of the tronc as I did. – I didn’t believe that you could necessarily say someone that waited on tables was more valuable in our business (a Restaurant With Rooms) as say a Housekeeper making our rooms lovely or a Commis making an incredible stock.

Dividing up the tronc seemed so subjective and more based on ‘what was done in the industry’ rather than any value reward. – I didn’t believe the minimum wage at its current level fairly exchanges with people in the hospitality industry, who often work insane hours, in a stressful environment, at antisocial times of the day and week whilst all the time trying to remain cheerful and happy.  I look at some of the reasons why the junior doctors are striking and think some of them should try it in our industry and see what it’s like.

When it was announced to the team it was the first team meeting where everyone clapped, spontaneously, so I guess that speaks volumes. – We have published the news in our newsletter and it’s on our website and so far we have been overwhelmed with the amount of support that customers are giving us, it’s been extraordinary to he honest

We haven’t heard a whisper from any of our local competitors but have had some supportive words of encouragement and support on social media from people indirectly involved in the industry….but not one restaurant or hotel yet!

I’m just doing what I think is right, both for our team and our customers.  It’s a fair deal for all and ultimately all we are trying to do is make our customers happy, and that’s pretty difficult to do if your team aren’t happy too!

It is very important for us to ensure every staff member at The Gallivant knows how much they contribute and are valued, from the team who clean the rooms, to the kitchen porter right through to the amazing waiting staff and sous chefs – they are all vital roles, and contribute to making The Gallivant such a success”

The Gallivant is currently undergoing a rolling renovation, with all 21 new rooms being completed by mid Spring, many with roll tops baths and private gardens.  With a series of gourmet evenings with guest chefs and local vineyards planned for 2016 and chefs Kevin Bennett and Oliver Joyce creating delicious locally sourced, seasonal menus, The Gallivant team are looking forward to a busy and exciting year by the sea.