Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Undercover Boss on Channel 4 television.

I watched Undercover Boss on Channel 4 television last week . It featured David Clarke, Chief Executive of mid-range hotel chain Best Western , as he goes on an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of his company, with mixed results.

Channel 4 put this programme under it's moniker of Reality Shows but I think it belongs to Comedy . I thoroughly enjoyed this episode of Undercover Boss and I thought it was a hoot! Best laugh was the Best Western White House Hotel in Watford. Here David was faced with the games played by management to win against the Best Western hotel inspections. This showed just how managers penny-pinch behind the public face of companies, they just do not like spending the money needed to maintain their business. I was surprised to see the hard worked chef who put in extra hours for no extra pay.

This programme demonstrated the big differences between the brochure, what the top managers believed and what was being delivered to the customer by staff at the sharp end. These problems are typical throughout business today and are not confined to hotels.

Best Western is not unique, it is simply a brand. They do not own or run the actual hotels but simply take bookings and sell the dream of a quality brand to the customer. Best Western claim high standards and have very polished publicity. Trouble is that this publicity can blind both the top management and the customer. It is no point having good window-dressing if the product is inconsistent.

A lot of the humour of this programme came from the rosey view that David Clarke had of his company. The buzz-words bantered around the boardroom at Best Western were a delight to players of Bullshit Bingo. I found this programme really funny as David found out what was really going on, rather than the dream managers generally believe. This programme did Best Western no harm at all because they are simply a booking agent with a brand that they aim to keep up to standard. Any hotel that consistently came below standard would be kicked off the brand and no damage would be done to the brand image of Best Western. If things go badly wrong at one particular hotel, then they are simply struck off the booking system and customers will never know just how bad things had been running. Best Western are not the only nationwide company to adopt this business model as many readers of this blog appreciate! Well done to Channel 4 for commissioning this great comedy programme.
I agree entirely with u Steve. I know which company in particular u r refering 2!!! And yes, they will find out 2 their own cost in the future!!
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