My career in hospitality started whilst at school working evenings and weekends in a hotel restaurant. I soon realised I enjoyed the variety the hospitality industry brings and that no day is the same.
When I finished school I had already gained a lot of experience within the industry and started as Food and Beverage Supervisor at Weetwood Hall Hotel and Conference Centre. During my time at Weetwood I worked hard and progressed through many positions such as Duty Manager, Bars Manager and Food and Beverage Manager. In 2010 I then accepted a position with Q Hotels at the Queens in Leeds. This was another Food and Beverage Manager position, but allowed me to gain more experience in a bigger city centre property. In 2012 I was given my first Deputy General Manager position at Cedar Court Harrogate, and later at their Huddersfield property. I was looking for a new challenge and opportunity to gain more experience in another property so joined Dalata in September 2015 as Deputy General Manager at Clayton Hotel Leeds.
One of the reasons I wanted to join Dalata was the genuine commitment to development of employees at all levels. Over the past year I have been on the Altitude programme, this is a management development programme created alongside the Irish Management Institute (IMI). This is a great course as the IMI learning assists with development of management skills, but having the senior team from central office also carry out training gives us hotel specific development. This course has given me opportunity to meet new colleagues, who are doing the same role in different properties allowing us to share ideas and best practice.
Working for Dalata and having a de-centralised structure allows us to make decisions at the property and lets us do what we believe is best for the business in our hotels. You are allowed to look after your business as if it were your own, but know there is support from central office whenever required.
As a company Dalata are committed to staff development and satisfaction, in Leeds we are particularly proud of the work we have done to ensure we have a happy team and initiatives we have put in place which resulted in our “most engaged team in Dalata” award this year.
It’s an exciting time for Dalata and been fantastic to see investment across the group, not only in acquisitions of new properties but also in developing and improving the current assets. I genuinely enjoy working for Dalata and am looking forward to the growth and opportunities this will bring in the UK over the next few years.