Feel good feeling is helping bring more visitors to stay

Steven Hesketh is the Managing Director of The Know Collection, which owns and manages several hospitality businesses in Liverpool including The Richmond Hotel and District House, among several others.
He is Treasurer of the Liverpool Hoteliers Association, and on the committee of many boards, including The Liverpool Visitor Economy Network, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Members Council, The Northern Chapter of the Institute of Hospitality and chair of the Downtown Hospitality Power Panels and Founder of the Know Hospitality Academy.
IT’S a great time of year for hotels and restaurants. The sun is beginning to shine for more than two hours at a time, and the city is buzzing with activity as days get longer. It never fails to pleasantly surprise me when I see new visitors to The Richmond Hotel (and I’m sure my hospitality colleagues in other hotels will agree), who haven’t been to the city before. Their excitement to be here is electric and it makes me so proud to be a part of the landscape of their visit. We have so much to look forward to including the Liverpool International Music Festival, which has an impressive line-up, as well as the ever-popular LightNight, which I am certain will be a triumph. Another thing I love about this time of year is the positive vibe people start to portray. There’s something about April which causes people to kick themselves in to good-mood-mode. I know first-hand the great benefits of positivity. We are more productive, kinder and generally in better health. A colleague of mine recently tried an exercise where he went for a full day consciously not moaning and the results where astounding. Try it yourself – I promise it will make a difference to your outlook. Scores on the doors I’m delighted with the latest Scores on the Doors results release recently, seeing both The Richmond Hotel and Ameriesko receiving high standards for food hygiene and structural compliance, and a highly excellent score for confidence in management. Scores on the Doors is a website open to the public to check hygiene scores of food establishments. A lot of the time, low scores are given, but the establishment owners are made aware of this and very often fix the problems quickly. Do be aware of this and make sure you support the hundreds of fantastic food outlets in the city. Green is the new black By green, I mean veggie and vegan. This past few months has seen a huge surge in vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening, as well as more menu options in general eateries. It’s fantastic to see this surge – not because I’m a vegetarian (in fact I can be described as the opposite), but because it just widens our food interest a bit. Gone are the days when the only veggie options are mushroom risotto or a bowl of leaves. The progress of the options has developed tremendously and t see the different spins of talented chefs is fantastic. Even if you are a meat-eater, don’t be wary of trying some vegetarian or vegan menu options every now and then. You’ll be surprised at how tasty they are!  Investing in future talent I was delighted to see the launch of Future Boss Club in Liverpool. The organisation, founded just a few months ago in the city, is deigned to work with women ages 18-30 in the business world looking at self-confidence, professional skills and personal growth. This is a breath of fresh air and I was delighted to be the first employer in the city to join. It’s crucial to invest in young talent, and our females here at Richmond, Nourish, Ameriesko and Love Thy Neighbour are the future of this business. It’s key that we invest in them. Future Boss Club has made quite and impact on the city – and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops. More progress for hoteliers  The Liverpool Hoteliers Association is developing quickly, and we look forward to the busy summer we are about to have. We have been working with Marketing Liverpool to supply our 40-plus members with pop-up banners each quarter showing the big city events along with dates, locations and times. Grabbing the attention of our visitor economy is crucial for money being spent in the city, and by working together, the hotels contribute to this substantially. We are also working to supply hotel sales, events and marketing teams with weekly tweet recommendations, pin-pointing different thing going on in the city. Working together as a city in hospitality is the key to success. We have fantastic small communities such as Bold Street, Lark Lane, Castle Street and Aigburth Road – so let’s link those up and make sure the world continues to notice what a special offering we have. If you run an event, no matter how large or small, please do email me the details to steven@richmondliverpool.com so that we can support you.  Ally brings new insight  At Love Thy Neighbour on Bold Street, we have recently taken on a nutrition expert to help advise on our menu. Ally Griffin will be working directly with our chefs as well as holding events with the public to talk over good nutrition and the health benefits. She will also dis-spell some myths about good and bad food, as well as give some great tips about a balanced diet. People are becoming more conscious about what they are eating – and in Liverpool, there is an astounding supply of good food offerings. I know Ally is keen to share more, and I look forward to her speaking to Good News Liverpool readers in the next issue in more detail.