From an initial dream of becoming a florist to training as a chef in England to head of revenue: Susanne Wagner’s interests are certainly quite broad, though it took her some time to discover and learn to love her affinity for numbers. Find out more about this and about how she spends her free time in our interview.
1. Starting at the beginning: How did your professional experience get going?
Let’s just say: I love flowers above all else – I still do – and after finishing school I absolutely wanted to become a florist. I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful. When my schooling was over at 16, I thought: Now what? In the end, nothing came of the florist’s at the corner. Instead, I decided to go abroad because I’d always been interested in languages. That’s how I ended up in Southampton where I completed two years’ training as a chef. Then I went to Germany to train in hotel management. I started working as a reservation agent, followed by a stint as reception and reservation staff in Frankfurt.
2. And when did you finally end up in Vienna?
That was when I started as revenue manager at HMG: the job was in Vienna. That was real proof of my husband’s love: The job offer came on a Friday, and on Monday I said yes – after talking with my husband about it, of course [laughs]. In a manner of speaking, we just dropped everything and left. It was a good decision!
3. The word “revenue manager” may be new for some of our readers…
[Chuckles] Probably! In a nutshell, I’d say a revenue manager is in charge of a hotel’s price structure on the basis of supply and demand. The matter has become more complex over the course of the past few years. The reservation department used to handle that in a hotel – today it’s the “revenue manager”. This much I can say: It’s truly exciting to see how a strategy bears fruit. What I love about my joy is experimenting.
4. When you’re not busy juggling numbers, what do you do in your free time?
Ask my team and you’ll have the answer in a second: baking! I love cakes and I bake one every day. A mocha cream or raspberry mascarpone pie with white chocolate makes my mouth water. I think I must have at least 100 cookbooks and 200 cooking magazines at home. When I’m not standing at the stove or the oven, I like to meet friends, visit the giraffes at the zoo or… sleep [laughs].
5. What would you do if you won the lottery?
That’s easy: I’d open a cake shop and sell my cakes every day until they’re sold out and I’d have fun doing it.
6. And finally: Where do you like to spend your holidays?
I love to visit my family in Frankfurt. Otherwise, wherever it’s warm: Croatia, Gran Canaria or France – with a focus on the food, of course [laughs]. If you ask me which Vienna House hotel I love the most, then I’d have to say the Vienna House Martinspark Dornbirn. It’s like a little world of its own: You go out, breathe deeply and have the mountains right in front of your nose. And Dornbirn itself is really a charming little town!
Thank you for the interview!