M&C Report talks to Ted Kennedy, chief executive of GRS Inns and Pebble Hotels co-founder, about his best investment, his best business decision and the best piece of advice he’s ever received.

What’s the most important action the industry can take to encourage the consumer?
Invest in training. People in hospitality have fantastic, engaging personalities and with good training they can easily build sales.

What single action could Government make that would make a difference?
I think it was Ronald Reagan who said the most scary words you’ll hear are “I’m from the Government and I’m hear to help”. Best thing they can do is get out of our hair.

What is your top priority?
To grow sales.

What has been your best investment?
Investing time to know the team and the customer. A lot is said about capex returns and like for like sales but great input from the real frontline team and customers is what delivers these.

What has been your best business decision?
Joining the hospitality sector - the only industry where you get paid to have a good time.

How much has your business changed to combat the recession?
Almost totally. We started as a hotel company looking to reinvent the 3-star market and have developed into a one stop shop for reinventing tenanted pubs.

Who has been most influential in your career?
Loads of people have and still do influence me so I won’t pick out any one in particular. However last Saturday was Robert Breare’s memorial service and we should all tilt our hats to a guy who had amazing vision if not always stunning execution.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Luck is a big ingredient in success.