SUBSCRIBE

Hot Topics > Hotel Trends

Behind the scenes at Hotel GB: Will the TV show benefit hospitality?

By Luke Nicholls , 02-Oct-2012
Last updated on 03-Oct-2012 at 14:03 GMT2012-10-03T14:03:20Z

Hotel GB is open for service on Channel 4 for the rest of the week (1 - 5 October)
Hotel GB is open for service on Channel 4 for the rest of the week (1 - 5 October)
Loading the player...

Gordon Ramsay is dishing out the orders in the restaurant, Mary Portas is in charge of the rooms and Gok Wan is running the bar. The stars of Hotel GB think the show will have an eventual wider impact on our hospitality industry - are they right? BigHospitality went behind the scenes at the hotel to find out.

Hotel GB sees two groups of famous names running the Bermondsey Square Hotel in London for one week, with paying guests. By the end of the week, the stars hope to have landed their unemployed trainees full-time jobs while raising cash for The Princes Trust and hospitality charity Springboard in the process.

Ahead of the official opening, we were invited along to a tour of the hotel, giving us full access to the celebrity staff and a chance to find out what they think about the current state of the UK hospitality industry, and what they hope the show will do to help it.

Follow the behind-the-scenes tour in this BigHospitality podcast as we speak to Ramsay, Portas and Wan along with the other big names working at Hotel GB for the rest of the week.

Mary Portas wants Hotel GB to be a beacon for better service in the UK

At the door we were greeted by the hotel’s new concierge Kirsty Allsop along with co-general manager Mary Portas, who’s also in charge of the reception and the spa area.

The ‘Queen of the Shops’ revealed that she wants the hotel to be a beacon for good service in the UK, which she says has still got plenty of room for improvement.

Gordon Ramsay got off to a fiery start in last night's episode

We then headed into a very busy Hotel GB restaurant which is being run by none other than the world-renowned Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay.

As last night’s episode showed, things in the kitchen didn’t get off to the best of starts, but Ramsay told BigHospitality that he does think the show will promote the potential available to young people working in hospitality.

Gok Wan worked in his parents restaurant when he was three years old

Next, a short walk over to the Hotel GB bar, which is being headed up by Gok Wan.

Having grown up in a restaurant, the TV fashionista is relishing the opportunity of going back to work in the hospitality industry.

From the ground-floor bar we headed up to one of the top-floor suites of Hotel GB, where we found Kim Woodburn putting on her rubber gloves to take on her new role as head of housekeeping.

Kim Woodburn is HotelGB's head of housekeeping

Woodburn, who’s best known for presenting How Clean is your House?, revealed that she thinks cleaners in hospitality businesses are perhaps not getting the respect they deserve.

She also believes that the show will serve a dual purpose; giving unemployed people their first break in the industry, and raising funds for The Princes Trust and Springboard.

Katie Piper is manager of the spa and salon

We then took a trip over to the Hotel GB Spa where we met manager Katie Piper. The former model and television presenter was the victim of an acid attack in 2008 which left her with a severe facial disfigurement.

But she overcame that adversity and has since founded The Katie Piper foundation and appeared in the Channel 4 Documentary My Beautiful Friends. We asked Piper if she’d be running the spa and salon any differently than she would her own business.

Dragon's Den star Hilary Devey is running the Hotel GB shop

Finally, running the Hotel GB shop is Dragon’s Den star Hilary Devey, who’s selling a range of merchandise ranging from T-Shirts and mugs to high-end doggie paraphernalia. But, with her business under the microscope, we asked the Dragon if she feels intimidated.

Yesterday, BigHospitality reported that the celebrity staff of Hotel GB also hope that the show will set a precedent for hospitality businesses to help tackle youth unemployment by taking on more apprentices of their own. Read that full report here.

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

As the new year gets rolling, now is the perfect time for hotels, restaurants...

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

The likes of social media, online advertising and mobile loyalty apps allow businesses large...

How to use Twitter for restaurants

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

They’re all on it. Big national chains, high-profile chefs and small emerging brands across...

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

In the third part of our Dietary Requirements special feature, BigHospitality takes a trip...

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

What skills do you need to be a hotel manager? Following a special media...

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Now the dust has settled on George Osborne's fourth Budget speech, the race is...

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

Long hours, unskilled work and few career development opportunities: the hospitality industry, and pubs...

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

Martin Chiffers, president of the UK's Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie club, has described...

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Ufi Ibrahim has told hospitality businesses across the UK that they must ‘walk the...

Photo and video hospitality marketing tips for hotels and restaurants

How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

A picture might tell a thousand words but getting the right photo and video...

Nova Victoria Restaurant Eats Out

Restaurant Eats Out: Nova Victoria

Restaurant magazine’s latest Eats Out events took place in Victoria’s recently opened Nova development,...

Stephen Harris on The Sportsman winning National Restaurant of the Year

Stephen Harris on The Sportsman winning National Restaurant of the Year

Stephen Harris' self-proclaimed 'grotty' gastropub The Sportsman was named the UK's best restaurant for...

South East Asian London Restaurant Eats Out

Restaurant Eats Out: South East Asian

In the most recent of our Restaurant Eats Out series, we visited four of...

Saiphin Moore - Rosa's Thai - Restaurant Eats Out

Restaurant Eats Out: Behind The Scenes - Saiphin Moore

As part of our most recent Restaurant Eats Out event, we caught up with Lao Café's Saiphin...

Watch: Francesco Mazzei goes back to his roots at Radici

Watch: Francesco Mazzei goes back to his roots at Radici

Francesco Mazzei’s newest restaurant, Radici, officially opened last week. We take a look around...

Tacos Restaurant Eats Out: Neil Rankin, Temper Behind The Scenes

Restaurant Eats Out: Behind The Scenes – Neil Rankin, Temper

In the fourth and final Behind The Scenes video in our Restaurant Eats Out...

Restaurant Eats Out: Behind The Scenes ‒ Breddos Tacos

Restaurant Eats Out: Behind The Scenes ‒ Breddos Tacos

The latest installment of our Behind The Scenes look into our London Restaurant Eats Out...

Is music right in your restaurant

Pump up the volume: Is the music right in your restaurant?

Video by Hannah Thompson         Noisy music in restaurants is a contentious...

Restaurant Eats Out Sam Hart, El Pastor Behind The Scenes

Restaurant Eats Out: Behind The Scenes – Sam Hart, El Pastor

As part of a recent Restaurant Eats Out food tour, we checked out some of...

Indian restaurants video Restaurant Eats Out: New Wave Indian

WATCH: Restaurant Eats Out: New Wave Indian

In Restaurant magazine’s third Eats Out event, we explored London’s burgeoning new wave Indian...