Becoming a General Manager of a hotel has long been a dream for Mr Jean Pierre Mifsud. He started this journey in the hospitality sector when he was very young. He was just 17 when he started working at the Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay, Malta. He experienced first-hand work in restaurant kitchens, reception desk, reservations and sales. He progressed steadily with a gratifying past behind and an exciting future ahead.
Mr Mifsud moved across the Group’s properties, holding senior management positions with Corinthia hotels in Malta and Lisbon. In 2013 he took on the first role as Hotel Manager of the Marina Hotel, of which he became General Manager shortly afterwards. Two years later, in August 2015 Mr Mifsud was appointed the new General Manager of Corinthia Hotel in Budapest. And he is justly proud of this.
This hotel boasts of 413 bedrooms and suites, 24 serviced residences, 28 meeting rooms, including a Grand Ballroom and Exhibition Centre, 3 F&B outlets, an Executive Lounge, the Royal Spa, and a car park. It also accommodates various concessionaires, including the famous Bock Bistro and the Caviar & Bull Restaurant. All these facilities and prestigious names render it one of the most luxurious, versatile and sought-after hotels in the city.
Over the past five years it has made a quantum leap in its operational performance with an impressive increase from €5 million to €9 million in gross operating profit. Its mission is to always provide the best hotel experience to its guests, the most inspiring environment to its employees, and the highest return to its shareholders.
Hotel management is dynamic. It is exciting but very demanding. One important key to Mr Mifsud’s work is as obvious as it is essential: his team.
“Managing people is not easy and you need to put your heart and mind into it. I am very happy with the staff and I thank them for their dedication and hard work.” Having the right team requires a good initial selection. Whilst emphasising the many criteria for choice, he also gives importance to instinct as an important part of the selection process.
“You would often feel that a person is honest and genuine in the first interview. Passion and integrity are also essential. It is then up to us to explain and offer proper training in the technical aspects of the job.”
So what is Mr Mifsud’s style of management? How does he bring out the very best in his colleagues and employees? He recognises the importance of each and every role in his team, while understanding that all employees should be respected, regardless of their role or position.
“Every person employed with the hotel is crucial to the day-to-day operations, no matter the job. You want to have the best people on your team, and I believe that if you treat them with respect and integrity they will provide the best service possible in return.”
A key factor to his success and the exceptional operation of the Corinthia in Budapest, is the intergenerational aspect of the team. 65% of the team running the hotel are millennials, he noted, while stressing the importance of teamwork across the board.
“The way a manager interacts with his team is crucial to the success of a hotel.” Mr Mifsud strives to create a work environment where each individual is appreciated, and he prefers addressing all employees by their first name. “We treat people as we want to be treated,” he said. “The Corinthia treats people as persons not as numbers. Empathy enhances closeness and comfort.”
What exactly does Mr Mifsud love most about running his hotel? The answer is simple. He enjoys dealing with guests, handling the business aspect of running a hotel, and his colleagues. “Each one of them makes every day more interesting.”