A job that is passion – an interview with Krzysztof Pytka, the owner of the GROMAN hotel, nominated to the award: Leader by vocation

1343

 

The GROMAN hotel is a place offering to its guests not only comfortable rooms (for 180 people), but also a venue for a conference, a wedding or a friends meeting. It is located 15km from Warsaw at the connecting point for the routes from Kraków and Katowice.

 

 

Where did the idea about a hotel come from?

It was a coincidence; I wasn’t interested in the hotel business before. I finished an automotive technical school, and then the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW). My parents ran a shop with furniture and a car repair shop, it was the so called family business, so I had a chance to watch that work from the inside. Later we opened a restaurant, but those were different times. In the beginning we had problems with obtaining the license to sell alcohol. At that time small companies were not given the license, so we decided to expand the restaurant. Then, we had an idea to build a hotel. For some time we ran the catering business and the car shop in parallel.

How did the building of the facility go?

The first part of the building was erected in the nineties. It took three years to build it. In the beginning it wasn’t too big – it got bigger and bigger on the basis of “proliferous reproduction”. I expanded the hotel because I we had more and more guests. In 2000 we finished the second wing, and five years later the next part. We even demolished the car repair shop to be able to build next parts of the hotel. We also managed to get additional surface by buying a plot from the neighbor. The last part was erected in six months, and we made the interior in nearly a year, because I hired professionals for this. I watched the works progressing, but I didn’t have to spend so much time on it as initially. Soon we had guests coming with school trips or we organized banquets, so the hotel brought us profits almost from the beginning. I didn’t use the modern means of support, meaning the credit. I run business in a traditional way. If there is some money saved, I do another investment. The hotel is being upgraded all the time. We make it better to meet the clients’ expectations. We are planning to expand the garden. This investment comes from the expectations of wedding guests, because it is a perfect place for a photo shoot in the open air. Therefore, it is necessary to build arcade and other similar arrangements. To some projects I prepare for a longer time, some of them are revised in life. First I was thinking about building a pool, but as there are so many beautiful swimming pools already built, we are planning to have in the future a spa, a relax zone for our guests. The market of wedding receptions is saturated. However, we don’t complain about lack of clients, we have bookings up to 2018.

What in your opinion contributed to the success of the GROMAN Hotel?

I found a niche on the market. Not in the hotel business, but in wedding planning. At that time weddings were made at firehouses or at schools. Restaurants didn’t have a good image, because the menu wasn’t really encouraging, and the prices were high. I tried to match these two things, so in our offer we had delicious dishes coming from the traditional Polish cuisine for a decent price. The first cooks were specialists in that. It did catch on very well. Most of these dishes are part of the wedding menu. We also introduce modern elements, but we tend to be more traditional. The cooks have many years of experience in catering, they make all dishes by themselves from the beginning and this proves the quality. We have our own specialty, which is a Neapolitan chop – it is a modern variation of a pork chop. It was proposed by one of my cooks, who has been working with me for twenty years. This dish is perfect for banquets and it always is a sensation. The whole staff are people with a professional training in their jobs, who have been working for us for many years and who share their knowledge with new employees willingly.

Do you organize also conference beside weddings?

 

 

Yes, we specialize also in organizing conferences. Our rooms are equipped with devices for this purpose, that is: overhead projectors, screens, wireless microphones, Wi-Fi access, flipcharts, etc. We are also working to improve the aesthetics of these rooms. We have three rooms: the first one has the surface of 204m2, its arrangement is adjusted to the guests’ needs and it can hold 120 people. The next one has 135m2 and a classic arrangement in the shape of a horse-shoe. The smallest one has 105m2 and it holds from 30 to 40 guests. Whereas the banquet room where we often have glamorous galas or banquets has seven hundred meters. It may be arranged like at the cinema or a banquet, everything depends on the client’s needs. We have a possibility to act flexibly. There is also a Bowling Club. There also are company events during which you may play bowls in casual clothes, or have a snack or a drink. We offer 180 beds to our guests; therefore we are fully prepared for both a big wedding, and an informal meeting.

Who uses the hotel services most often?

These are mostly business clients. You don’t come here for two weeks to have a rest. Our hotel is more for business guests. The hotel is used by people who come on business to Warsaw or to Wólka Kosowska. We have a perfect location, far from the busy city, and at the same time it is close to the airport or to the center it is 15km. The clients come for a short time, but regularly.

We have a regular co-operation with the companies Siveco and Manbol. We often have guests from abroad, mainly from the East: the Estonians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians or Lithuanians. Some of them have been visiting for many years. Just like the Suzuki employees, who organize here the service trainings. They take 3-4 days. There was a time of numerous trainings for banks on the EU investment funds. These were large projects for a few thousands of people. New clients are coming all the time. This is connected with development of companies, entrepreneurship and policy of the Masovian voivodship.

We can say you were born a manager.

I don’t know whether I would call it like this, but I admit that already in primary school I had a role of a treasurer. Moreover, since childhood I have watched how my parents managed their employees at their company. My life experience has taught me a lot as well, and I learnt the theory at the Warsaw School of Life Science.

It seems that your work is also your passion.

The work, which is your passion, is the best. I don’t feel tired at all. And I feel great when I create something. That is why I feel so good at a construction site. I relax then. When a road was being built here, my employees laughed that I got a job position. I had to keep an eye on everything. When we were building the hotel, I worked eighteen hours. Only today I have time to be with my family. I have two daughters and I am also a grandfather.

Are they going to take over the family business?

I hope so. They both supplement each other. But it is a long way ahead. I want them to take over the business together with sons in law.

When do you find time for relaxing, is there a chance for a holiday?

A holiday is possible on festive days. For now, I have spontaneous trips. My weekend starts on Monday, and it finishes on Wednesday. From Friday to Sunday there are weddings, so there is no chance for a rest. Most often I go to the seaside, I have a house in Gdynia. I go jogging to the beach, I catch my breath, literally. I admire the views. The same is in the mountains. I’m not a fan of extreme sports. I like to watch a good football game on television. I support Legia club, I was raised in Mokotów. Already in the primary school I went to watch football trainings. Thanks to that I met Kazimierz Deyna. It is a very nice memory.

Do you dream about travelling?

My dream is going to the Canary Islands. Not for two weeks, but for three, four months. To spend time there, when in Poland is winter time. Life there costs the same as in Warsaw. You can prolong your life by a few years, this is how the climate there influences a man, but I will go only when my daughters take over the family business.

 Magdalena Saganowka

Beata Sekuła

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here