Interview with Innegrit Volkhardt

"The Bayerischer Hof Hotel offer the right setting for every occasion"

In this interview, Innegrit Volkhardt, owner and managing director of the Bayerischer Hof, gives an insight into the work at the hotel. What advantages her employees have and what innovations one can look forward to in 2022.

The year is drawing to a close and we look back on an eventful time. In addition to all the hard facts that accompanied us in 2021, it is now time to present the "soft" qualities of the MICE metropolis Munich. Keywords such as "Equality", "Women in Business" or "Diversity" should not be missing at this point. Regarding those relevant issues, the Munich Convention Bureau had the opportunity to talk to Innegrit Volkhardt, owner and managing general partner of the Bayerischer Hof Hotel.

 

You have been successfully managing the Bayerischer Hof for 29 years, and shares were already passed on to the fifth generation, your nieces - therefore also into female hands - in 2015. Consequently, you are fully in line with trends like "female empowerment" and "women in business." How do you see it?

Ms. Volkhardt: Yes, I think you can set an excellent example if you live your leadership role naturally as a woman - without coercion or pretense. Fifty percent of my department heads are also female. However, it is particularly important that in the end, our employees' qualifications are in the foreground and not their gender.

You have just mentioned the qualifications of your employees. Do you offer special training opportunities for your staff?

Ms. Volkhardt: Yes, we have a wide range of further education that employees can and should take advantage of. We invest around 150,000 euros a year in our training courses, not including the internal sessions with internal instructors. Within our Bayerischer Hof Academy, for example, English skills, Typo 3 skills or time management can be deepened. Practical further education on carving or wine help employees in their day-to-day work. The training of young colleagues is also essential to us. We currently employ around 100 trainees.

"I think you can set an excellent example if you live your leadership role naturally as a woman - without coercion or pretense. Fifty percent of my department heads are also female."

You invest a lot in your employees. Is that reflected in the length of service of your employees?

Ms. Volkhardt: Indeed. Forty-one percent of our workforce has been with us for five years or more. Some employees have already retired and continue to work for us, which makes us very happy. In this way, younger colleagues can learn from their elders and valuable knowledge is not lost. We also support refugees by offering them a secure job that supports them at all levels.

The year 2021 is slowly drawing to a close. What "happened" at your company in 2021?

Mrs. Volkhardt: We offer our employees a varied sports program that includes soccer, running, fitness and Freeletics. Furthermore, the goal is to organize a joint excursion or activity once a month. Hence, new employees who may be new to the city are also integrated into the team during a bike ride or a visit to a museum, and casual exchange can take place away from work. Moreover, we have established a support association for our retirees and employees who have been in need for generations. We also have several dormitories in central locations and offer our employees, mainly trainees, discounted accommodation. Our employees also receive other benefits including cooperation and discounts on memberships in fitness studios or various stores. Our merging company health insurance fund also offers employees discounted rates.

"We also support refugees by offering them a secure job that supports them at all levels."

The year 2021 is slowly drawing to a close. What "happened" at your company in 2021?

Mrs. Volkhardt: Following the fundamental restoration of the Palais Hall on the first floor in 2016 and the renovation of the Palais Keller restaurant in the basement in 2019, the internationally renowned interior designer, art collector, and antique dealer Axel Vervoordt from Belgium has now redesigned the 14 event rooms on the first and second floors of the historic Palais Montgelas. The investment volume amounted to 1.7 million euros. More details about the 14 event rooms can be found at our website. In addition, we have renovated the office space of the administration and invested a sum of approximately 2.5 million euros.

What options for conferences does the Bayerischer Hof offer overall?

Mrs. Volkhardt: The Bayerischer Hof Hotel has a total of 40 air-conditioned meeting rooms for 10 to 2,500 guests, equipped with the latest conference technology. The meeting rooms offer the right setting for every occasion: from the imposing ballroom ensemble to the roof garden with its magnificent view of the Frauenkirche church to the in-house cinema with state-of-the-art image and sound technology. With five restaurants, six bars and the Night Club, the Bayerischer Hof enables diverse options for events. During the organization of an event, a creative banquet team provides support with individual proposals and ideas. The in-house floristry department rounds off the range of services. Overnight guests can choose from one of the 337 rooms, including 74 suites.

"The Bayerischer Hof Hotel offer the right setting for every occasion: from the imposing ballroom ensemble to the roof garden with its magnificent view of the Frauenkirche church to the in-house cinema."

What can we look forward to in 2022?

Mrs. Volkhardt: We will start planning the next construction project of our hotel lobby and atrium. We will also renovate some rooms again and continue the conversion of the office space in the administration area. Additionally, we expand the internal dormitory capacity again. Besides, next year we will be celebrating 125 years of the Volkhardt family - you can look forward to that. We are also honoured to host the Safety Conference again in february as a presence event - fingers crossed! We are also continuing to work at full speed on the topic of sustainability. Especially in terms of sustainable construction, we have the perfect partner at our side in Axel Vervoordt. His sensitivity for historic building materials, his intuition for colors and materials such as stone and reclaimed wood, and his professional way of approaching and carrying out projects are just a few of the reasons for our long-standing collaboration.

 

December 2021

 

Text: Kongressbüro München, Photos: Alessandra Schellnegger, Daniel Schvarcz, Benjamin Monn

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