Chris Wayne-Wills, FIH
CEO Crerar Hotels
- What was your favouritesubject at school?
Drama, I had aspirations to be an actor when I was younger. There are moments operationally where a role in our industry can be like a performance and being on stage. Acting teaches you good communication skills and confidence as well as having less fear of presenting or public speaking.
- What was your first job?
Working for our family catering company. The company was started when my Great Grandparents opened a Milk Bar in 1936 in Cardiff. The business latterly became a Restaurant and then a catering company which my Uncle owned and operated. I started working at weekends and during holidays from a young agewhich gave me a great insight into hospitality.
- Which is your favouriterestaurant /hotel?
My favourite Hotel is the Four Seasons in New York. I was fortunate to stay there after my HIT Scholarship to attend Cornell Hotel School. A truly beautiful hotel with such intuitive service, it was an inspiring experience. A close second would the Hotel Danieli in Venice, My Fiancée & I got engaged there. She works in Hospitality and we met in a Hotel so I suppose a Hotel Balcony proposal was inevitable!
- How do you inspire your team
I have a philosophy for setting my vision for a role and then creating a strategy which can be clearly communicated. From that strategy everyone needs to know what is expected of them and the role they play in achieving that success. The inspiration comes from finding out what the team truly aspire to achieve then coaching and guiding them to hopefully become the best version of themselves.
- Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?
Everyone I have worked for, or reported to, has taught me something, although sometimes the lessons confirm how you might not want to lead! as well as some truly inspirational people. Having also worked with so many talented colleagues that have inspired me to keep learning and striving to be better, I feel fortunate for those experiences.
- How do you manage your stress levels?
I try to keep on top of an exercise regime which I think is essential to keeping stress under control. I walk, cycle, run & box, I could always do more though. My escape is music through playing a few instruments as well as listening to a lot of music and getting to live gigs & festivals when possible.
- Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?
All, but really only professionally for work purposes. Its important to keep up with the fast pace of change within our industry and social media facilitates that. Personally though I would rather not have it as I don’t think it encourages the most positive thought processes for people and it isn’t real life despite how it can all be perceived. I do like LinkedIn though as something that does feel as though it has a useful purpose.
- If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
think you would be now?
Having had a glorious career both wearing the number 7 shirt for Manchester United whilst also playing the guitar in Oasis……..I can dream. Maybe a lawyer? although politics also interests me.
- What did you do on your last days off?
Spent time with my Children, between us we have 6 children ranging from 18 to 2 so life is never quiet. Days off revolve around spending time with them and cooking mostly.
- What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?
I am read a lot and have become a fan of audible as it enables me to read/listen to books much quicker. I have a particular interest in organizational culture especially when viewed through the lens of sports teams & high performance cultures so any reading in that field is interesting. It has led to me preparing for a Masters degree in business psychology which I am starting later this year on a part time basis. The sense that I am learning and focusing on growth and self -development fulfills my sense of wellbeing.