By Triana O'Keefe, editor – Australian Hotelier

The most successful hoteliers recognise that listening to their patrons is fundamental to customer service, says Stephen Hunt of New South Wales pub group Hunt Hospitality.

In a recent interview with Australian Hotelier, Stephen Hunt of Hunt Hospitality revealed the best piece of advice he was given throughout his time in the industry.

"It was comment said to me by an Irish friend: say nothing and say it often," Hunt said.

"What he was really saying was for us to find out as much information as we can about an individual, group or situation. We have to work off the two ears and one mouth ethos. That is, listen twice as often as we speak."

"In several new situations I have been in, I have had pre-conceived ideas about what will take place," he said.

"Instead of prejudging I have found the way to get the most of a situation is observe, take note and then ask questions. This applies to not only new situations but all facets of business and life; interviewing new and old staff, negotiating with suppliers and most importantly talking to your spouse as if you have a choice."

Stephen Hunt has worked within the industry for over 23 years, starting as a kitchen hand and now the proprietor of Newcastle's Hunt Hospitality.

Hunt predicts 2015 will be a year of challenges when, more often than not, "customers will be the key".

For the full interview with Stephen Hunt, see the upcoming Leaders Forum edition of Australian Hotelier.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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