Some 23 years ago, four shareholders founded Bay Street, with two business units - the ever popular Bay Street Shopping Mall and the Bay Street hotel with 135 Bedrooms.
Since then, Bay Street has become a major destination landmark for both travellers and Maltese, for business travellers and leisure visitors. The two business units have become four, with the addition of Hyatt Regency Malta and the Rain Forest Café. And Bay Street Hotel rebranded to be.HOTEL, doubling its size. Over the years, the four shareholders became two.
Albert Galea, CEO of Bay Street Group, is at the helm of the highly-successful enterprise, which has seen both be.HOTEL and Hyatt Regency Malta swooping up industry awards and accolades. be.HOTEL has been recognised as a four-star superior property by the Malta Tourism Authority, which is above its marketed rating. Guests and clients agree, as the hotel is also Booking.com’s highest rated four-star hotel in St Julian’s.
Hyatt Regency Malta is performing just as spectacularly, having been recognised with a four-star rating in the Forbes luxury guide, which is considered the Michelin star of hotels. Only three other hotels have achieved this coveted Forbes rating. Moreover, the Hyatt Regency Malta is the highest rated five-star hotel in Malta.
“We are very proud to receive such recognition from all sides of the industry, including an internationally accredited body, from Malta’s official tourism authority and from our clients themselves,” Mr Galea says.
In fact, with Mr Galea’s team at the helm, Bay Street Group has garnered a firm reputation for quality services and for always being ahead of the curve in terms of identifying industry trends. The organisation is also known to be a sought-after employer, building a strong company culture.
“We are a team, and we believe in keeping our employees happy for them to keep our guests happy. Offering this level of service is a journey that starts with our team and continues all the way to the clients. There is a consistent drive to keep staff engaged and motivated, which in turn keeps the level of guest satisfaction high,” Mr Galea explains.
To further illustrate the point, he adds that for the Bay Street Group team, it’s not a matter of ‘servicing’ guests but of treating them. This is an approach that is extended to the whole team.
“At Bay Street Group we have adopted a family-oriented culture that emphasises the importance of respect and support within the workplace. This is an important part of our leadership representation, and is a daily task for our hands-on, senior leadership team,” he adds.
It is an approach that is clearly reaping fruits in a sector where recruitment is well-known to be particularly challenging. Mr Galea says that Bay Street Group managed to retain the majority of its work-force even during the pandemic, while recognising that the challenges in recruiting skilled hospitality professionals are very real.
“The way we approached this challenge is by focusing on upskilling and reskilling our resources. We are grateful and proud to work with such a diverse group, where opportunities flourish,” he states, adding that the organisation has witnessed candidates applying for any job out of desperation in order to be able to provide for their family.
“Today, we are proud to refer to them as our key talent,” he says. “Our company values are based on respect, integrity and balance. A culture of respect involves treating others with dignity, honesty and transparency. Last but, not least, we recognise the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”
Mr Galea explains that this means supporting employees' well-being, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, and recognising the importance of family and community.
This approach is complemented by the fact that, across all business units, from the shareholders until each and every colleague, everyone strongly believes that offering quality across all products and services is paramount.
“This is the common factor in all the great results achieved so far.”
What’s next for Mr Galea and the Bay Street Group? The goals are all about maintaining standards and consolidating the team.
“We certainly won’t be resting on our laurels, and we are determined to keep - and hopefully exceed - these standards that we set for ourselves, and that have led to such strong recognition from guests and from within the industry itself. We are constantly striving to keep our guests satisfied,” he concludes.