Hospitality energy crisis
David Nussbaumer has been in the industry all his life, his father emigrating to Guernsey and snapping up the chance to own his very own hotel, set David on his path at just five years old, living in and growing up around hotels. Utility Bidder

The buzz in your veins and pulsing in your head. That special something is in the air, and the adrenaline surge promising its potential in the back of your mind. The pre-show buzz. The promise that excitement is on the way.

That's exactly how the festive season feels according to a seasoned Hotelier in the beautiful Island of Guernsey. A buzz that promises so much, and can deliver beyond expectation and imagination if done right.

David Nussbaumer has been in the industry all his life, his father emigrating to Guernsey and snapping up the chance to own his very own hotel, set David on his path at just five years old, living in and growing up around hotels. So if anyone knows what the Holiday season is like in industry, it'll be him.

It's the expectation of expectations. The idea is that standards and practices set out at this time of year should always be emulated, day in and day out.

Now I've spent most of my career in Radio, and there seems to be a lot of parallels. High standards. Strict timekeeping. Diva-like guests, but there was one rule that always popped up from those who set out on the same career path years before I had even entered the workforce.

"Keep it simple stupid."

They're words to live by, and if you fail to listen, die by.

Also, it's similar to the mantra that David brings to his line of work. It's part and parcel of how his Chefs work tirelessly to bring the best out of the food they serve.

"It's all about finding that balance," David said.

"If someone wants a gourmet dinner, yes we can supply it, but if someone wants a really good homemade burger, we can do that as well."

"The feeling now (in Guernsey) is that people want to walk in and not be told you have to have a jacket and tie, so making it into a friendly, welcoming atmosphere."

This mindset, to keep it simple. For me, it seems to be another gift left to him by his father, that European-Austrian-centric ideal of simplicity and the correct precise implementation of the basics that keep people coming back.

"It's one of the first bits of such good advice my father gave me. 'A hello and a goodbye doesn't cost a penny.'"

"Greet them as they walk in with a hello, take their coat and welcome them in, say goodbye with a smile and coat in hand waiting."

"What does that cost you? Nothing, but hopefully it's enough to make them come back."

The reason I attribute these quotes of David's to his father's influence is down to something I noticed as we sat down for coffee at his Farmhouse Hotel to conduct this interview.

He told me a story of his Dad, being able to recognise guests and remember their drink orders, even if they hadn't set foot over his threshold in decades.

"I was once sat with my father, somebody walked in, they hadn't been to Guernsey in 25 years, not only did he remember his name on the spot, but also his drink. The guy felt a million dollars!"

The whole time we spoke though, David mirrored his father's actions. He spoke to a dentist setting up a new practice and offering his congratulations on a huge new step in her career. A regular elderly couple, who seemed to be there for coffee and cake and a pleasant post-Christmas chat.

They had some playful banter, and the gentleman's military history came up, David recognised the lingo and addressed him by rank, a small personal tidbit in conversation that will stick with the both of them. So corporal, if you're reading this, Merry Christmas to you.

These weren't one-offs I felt. He spoke to several different faces, young and old, and maybe this is partly the Guernsey effect, a small local jurisdiction where it's hard not to know the people you live near, or maybe it's an echo from his father, and his way of doing things.

Those standards seem to seep into the Farmhouse Hotel. The staff seemed happy and cheerful, even recognising me from a previous stay, one face they'd seen briefly for a night, amongst the many that passed through the glass doors over the previous months.

It's something David was keen to emphasise, how catering to your staff's needs, and recognising their talents was vital in running a healthy and happy hotel. It should be obvious, treat your staff like people, with wants and needs, and they're more likely to pull together during harder seasons, but that is something that seems to be forgotten more and more today.

Especially when you think about the work they do.

Often those working in industry in Guernsey are far from home, working exhausting hours, dealing with awkward situations and sometimes over-the-top requests. They go from the frantic rush and regular tipping of seasonal work to the long quiets.

They serve delicious food all day, and clean immaculate rooms destined for loved-up, lustful couples, festive family getaways, or the largest group to destroy rooms en masse...a full wedding party.

They do all of it with a smile though. All the grafting, all the toil. It's all done with that air of lightness whenever a guest is about.

You could also maybe take a guess that there's a helping hand from the Christmas Cheer bleeding from the hustle and bustle of our Yearly send-off. A month-long haul, but decorated with baubles and tinsel, and sent off with Champagne and Celebration.

In truth, I see that there's a fine balancing act to successfully navigate the Christmas crescendo, a point David would agree with.

The basics need to be done right and done well, your staff need to be looked after, happy to help, and rewarded for their hard efforts.

The personal selling points need to be, well, on point. Remembering names, faces and those that enter and leave.

Giving each person that celebrity feeling from the first hello to their final goodbye.