My story with Dave, the kids, Cooper, VW's & rugby

UnderCover Boss and Dragons Den are Back

I’m not the sort of person who avidly watches much TV as I am a bit of a channel hopper, that’s if we’re not on laptops, watching a film or Dave is playing MW2 on the Xbox. There are two shows that have started this week though that I really love to watch and I’ve made sure they are on series link record on the Sky box.

Last night saw the start of the new series of Undercover Boss. I did a post last year just before it started and it was a great series and would have been a good eye opener for business owners. Last night’s episode was about Best Western Hotels who are aiming to become the biggest mid range hotel chain in the UK by partnering up with privately run hotels who will get bookings through Best Western while still remaining in control. Best Western ensures that regular checks are done on the hotels to make sure they are up to the acceptable standard for guests. The Chief Executive went undercover and visited a few of the hotels in the chain to find out what actually happens outside the board room.

What he found totally shocked him as the workers in the hotels didn’t really associate with the Best Western brand, and the ideals that were being laid out in the board room were not getting filtered down the chain. They have just spent over £1m on an advertising campaign which no one seemed aware of. He went to a hotel that had failed an inspection and were due another inspection which if they failed would strike them off the Best Western portfolio. It made me cringe when the handy man was working through his list of jobs to get certain rooms up to scratch but instead of doing it properly they were swapping furniture from the rooms that had passed into the failed rooms, and would even change the numbers on the hotel room doors if they needed to.

In general what he found was some poor management and some good staff. Most of the staff worked really hard but were totally undervalued. I don’t know how many times that I have written about the importance of keeping your staff happy which leads to happy customers, but it is so true. I’m looking forward to next week to see what it reveals.

Dragons Den was on Wednesday and it’s good to see the Dragons back in the Den. This year though I’m not sure what has happened to Deborah but she has turned into a real “bitch”. I can’t believe how rude she was to the applicants when they were trying to pitch, I think she went a bit too far. There were a few good ideas on the show but nothing this week that was really awesome. I think the best thing was the glasses holder that can clip onto your clothes, but the woman who invented them needed a sales person to come on board as a partner. I hope the “frozen desert” lady does well as even though she got the sob story out at the end she has worked really hard to get where she is today. I doubt the product will be a huge success like Reggae Reggae sauce, as the no fat, no dairy, no lactose, (no flavour) desert will only have a small market place as people who can eat dairy will stick with ice cream rather than a desert made from brown rice milk and coconut juice or something.