Working its way through the toughest of challenges caused by recruitment shortages, the Grand Pier has re-opened with customers enjoying some of “the happiest reunions we have ever seen”. As popular as ever, the jewel in Weston’s crown spent the second half of 2021 proving just how alluring and affordable a trip to the British seaside can be. Michelle Michael talks Coinslot through the year on the pier.
MICHELLE MICHAEL OWNER GRAND PIER WESTON
Coinslot: A year that opened in lockdown, staggered through to reopening, via a supply chain crisis and ending with Omicron: how will you look back on 2021?
Michelle Michael: We were very grateful to be able to survive, open and start trading again in what was a very difficult year for hospitality.
It was a year of adapting, changing, and knowing we could have done better had we had more staff and supplies.
However, it was also a year where our venue has hosted some of the happiest reunions we have ever seen; families and friends who have not seen each other throughout lockdown meeting for the first time in over a year.
Coinslot: We’ve had five months since re-opening, what were your highlights of the year?
Michelle Michael: Our highlights were managing to recruit new teams against a backdrop of a huge personnel shortage; hosting reunions, family get togethers and some reduced numbers events.
We also used some of our down time to reinvest, change offers and reorganise our teams which has been very positive for us.
Coinslot: 2021 has been a major challenge to the way our businesses operate. How have you risen to this challenge and what new developments are you introducing to rebuild and strengthen your operation?
Michelle Michael: We have realised that in 2021 our teams were at breaking point because of the staff shortages across hospitality. We have made plans to streamline our offer even further for next year and to train all of our teams in all aspects of our service delivery. Working with local suppliers and partners has also given us the advantage.
Coinslot: What are you looking or hoping for in 2022 and what’s on your New Year’s wish list?
Michelle Michael: We’re looking forward to building on the mindset of the staycation.
Whilst the cost of overseas travel continues to increase and that is likely for the foreseeable future, we continue to offer a family day out that is affordable on any budget. With only £1 to enter and family games from 2p per play, we need to remind our guests that a day out at the seaside should be firm on their agenda.
For 2022, we wish that Government continues to support the hospitality industry with affordable and quick campaigns to bring overseas workers into the UK and can assist with the supply chain crisis to keep costs affordable so that prices do not become cost prohibitive.