PhilosophyInterview

Advice based on Competence.

Competence through Expertise and Experience.

Extraordinary ideas are a key component of success. They are differentiators and unique selling propositions. This is true in particular for players in the hospitality, gastronomy and tourist business. Generating profitable ideas requires market know-how, experience and far-sightedness.

Solutions need to be tailored to the problem in order to actually pay off. Using pin-point analyses will help to identify ways to hone your corporate profile. Operative standards must be evaluated, established and continuously secured through quality management. This makes it possible to stay on top of the intensifying global competition and to position yourself for the future.

The only source of knowledge is experience.

Albert Einstein

With Cornelia Kausch at the helm and Michael Theim as her partner, CK Hospitality Advisors boasts long-term comprehensive experience in hospitality and gastronomy – both inside and outside Germany. In recent years, Cornelia Kausch headed exclusive 5-star hotels and successfully managed, reorganised and repositioned major hotel chains as well as business hotels with a focus on conferences and events.

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Dr. Michael Theim

Legal expert Dr. Michael Theim, JD, served on the management boards and supervisory bodies of renowned hotel companies for many years, including Accor Deutschland GmbH, the German subsidiary of the international hotel group Accor. Active as an attorney at law since 1982, he gathered extensive experience as advisor to property companies and private investors in the development, realisation, repositioning and funding of hotels and hotel property, both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

Cornelia Kausch, Head of CK Hospitality Advisors, looks back on more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and gastronomy field. She knows perfectly well what makes hotels tick: Coming from a family of hotel owners, she familiarised herself with the structures, work-flows, and methods in this service sector from a very early age. Aged 50, she acquired her robust know-how from the hotel management school in Lausanne and from positions with leading international hotels.

5 Questions for Cornelia Kausch.

What sort of challenges does a modern hotel face these days?

 

As far as I can see, we will be confronted with several developments: luxury products with perfect rooms, bespoke and attentive service staff always on hand during check-in and at the information desk, and perhaps even white-glove amenities. In a parallel development, the business hotel will gain in significance, offering less service, but letting you use your smartphone to check in and access your room. Principally speaking, I’m firmly convinced that tomorrow’s hotel will largely do without paperwork. So the challenge for the entire industry going forward will be to redefine all work streams and to customise them to the guests’ changed needs. After all, the guest figures are front and centre in everything that goes on at a hotel. Today perhaps more so than ever. It is of the essence to be in close touch with your guest, to notice, to communicate, to act and to be on hand when needed.

Is the hospitality landscape undergoing a change, and if so, where is it heading?

 

Trends in Europe include: moving away from star-rated venues, away from hotel chains, away from classic booking channels, and towards online travel agents, such as Booking or Expedia; embracing unique ideas. There is a high demand for exciting concepts and no-nonsense products. Gone are the days of glossed-over hotel images.

What would you say sets a great hotel apart from the rest?

 

A high-end interior design, a focus on the guest, the provision of true perks and benefits for the client. To be fit for the future, a hotel must be perfectly familiar with its target group and align itself to the needs of that group. Product and service must be tailored to the target group. Whenever the guests and their requirements take centre stage, and whenever they are served in an authentic, honest way – that’s what I call great. With “great” also implying successful performance, which is what ultimately counts.

What was the biggest challenge in your professional career to date?

 

Generally speaking: to score through competence, clear-cut strategies and achievement. And to do so in a male-dominated field. From the start, I had to learn swiftly, and I keep learning to this day. I am well aware of what I achieved during my professional career, and it makes me proud to be able to look at myself in the mirror without having to flinch. I met the expectations vested in me and delivered tangible results. It is something that makes me feel good!

Looking back, what would you say you achieved?

 

Each stage of my professional life had its own distinct highlights: Take the launch of the first Dorint Boutique Hotel on Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin. It has since become the Sofitel. Or take the strategic alignment of the hotel Dorint Schweizerhof with the InterContinental Berlin as the targeted strategic partner of the future. Or repositioning the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest or the Hotel Berlin in Berlin, which I got back on track for the Pandox group of hotels and which continued to prosper under my care. The overarching theme of my professional life is that everything I have done has had its own charms and challenges. Finally, there are the people I encountered along the way, and who became an integral part of my journey: They are the ones who have made, and continue to make, all the difference.