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Hospitality and Tourism

Tourism Business Case Studies

Report Segment: Flying Kiwi Inns

Flying Kiwi Inns Hotel Group

Chris Coubrough is Managing Director of Flying Kiwi inns and has built up a chain of five hotels and an Inn, over the last eight years.

The group now employs 160 staff – over 100 of them in catering. 80% of staff come from the Commonwealth. None of them have relevant qualifications but all of them have the right attitude and aptitude.

But Chris Coubrough is certainly not against local recruitment. In 2003 he took over a poorly performing hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea, The Crown, and kept on all the staff (around 20) including Katie – a young hotel receptionist. Three years later she had become house Manager for the hotel. Now she is Area Manager, responsible for the smooth running of the six establishments.

The Group is passionate about developing people to deliver the Flying Kiwi Inns service standard and in-house training is a key part of the culture of the group. However, Chris Coubrough is sceptical about the ability of colleges to deliver similar training and he has not been impressed with students from local colleges. “They keep hold of them too long – it would be better if students got out into the real workplace sooner” Chris maintains.

The Group currently has four apprentices, all signed up with private training providers.