What is special about restaurateurs who are active in politics?
I believe I can say of myself that in politics, I work purposefully, stubbornly, with discipline and unselfishly for the cause ...
You have an entrepreneurial background: Do you think it is easier for you to communicate the decisions politicians make to other business people?
Sure thing! But unfortunately, there are too few who venture into politics. It is so important to play a part in this process and not just talk about it. It helps that as an entrepreneur I can schedule my political activities myself. I’m considered more of a fossil here, but also as extremely authentic.
Are you able to balance the two things? You are a Member of Parliament and work in gastronomy. How can you handle all these tasks (simultaneously)?
The balance between my activities as a restaurateur and as a member of the National Council is achieved because I have great employees, both in the political arena and in my five companies. Both “vessels” are generally well connected to each other. Open communication and due appreciation are needed. This interview is the right place to thank my employees ... my success is based on all the great people I have the opportunity to work with.
The hotel and restaurant industry is of central importance for METRO. It’s about making people feel welcome, many say it feels like being invited to someone’s home. So, do you think that those working in the hospitality industry have a special way of thinking and acting that comes close to what politics demands of people?
People in the hospitality industry have their own way of approaching people. I had to learn that first. I used to always hide in the kitchen. The front desk wasn’t my thing. Guests enjoy being looked after. This is the most important thing in the hotel and catering industry. People want to feel understood and have trust that their needs are being addressed by policymakers. In this respect, the service mentality of the hospitality industry also helps in the world of politics.