Florie – Bachelors in International Hospitality Management, 2017 is currently Lounge Manager at The Doyle Collection in Dublin. She accepted to talk to us about her career so far.
What made you want to go into the hospitality sector?
With hindsight, I think it was just the interaction with clients. I like to share, I like helping others discover new things, I like welcoming people and inviting them into my home environment, and I like helping people enjoy themselves. And what could be better than a good evening meal with a nice glass of wine to put all of that together? And as time has gone by, the interactions with my colleagues have also become a key part of my work, which makes me think I really made the right choice.
Why did you choose to study at Institut Paul Bocuse?
I discovered IPB at a student fair and was captivated by the diversity of courses, offering a mix of management skills, product knowledge and practical experience. Once I started to look into things a bit more, it became clear that the School had an excellent reputation in the hospitality and foodservice sector.
What does your job of Lounge Manager at The Doyle Collection involve?
My job involves managing operations in the hotel lounge, which has 160 covers. Our most popular offer is Afternoon Tea, for which we are well known in Dublin. On a day-to-day basis therefore, I manage a team of 25 to 30 staff; the rota, team building, training, I ensure that standards are followed and that the quality of service is consistently high, LQA audit, quality of food served, engagement with customers, analysis of the competition, and I’m responsible for making sure we reach our financial objectives; managing staff and equipment costs, etc.
How did you reach this position?
I started off as Assistant Lounge Manager at the 5-star The Westbury Hotel, which belongs to The Doyle Collection. After a year in this job, I started helping the Meeting & Events department initially for 4 months as Sales Executive, which means you organise events with clients and manage customer relations, before becoming Meeting & Events Operations Manager. After a very busy season, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but during which I missed the restaurant environment, I was offered the opportunity to come back to work in the Lounge this time as Manager.
I must say I’ve been offered lots of support ever since I started working for the company. The F&B Manager believed in me right from the beginning and has never stopped encouraging me. In the space of just 2 years, I’ve done 4 different jobs, had 3 promotions and been trained across the full range of activities of a whole department. Of course, I’ve worked enormously hard for that, and I’ve always shown that I’m able to do more and that they could rely on me whatever happens, and that I could rely on them too. For the rest, it was just a question of being ready in the right place at the right time!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
As I said previously, I chose the hospitality and food service sector for the clients, but I’d like to continue for the people I work with. I like helping my team reach a joint professional objective, but also helping them with their personal development.
And what next?
I’m going to stay for another year in Ireland. After that, I’d like to set up my own restaurant in France, creating something in my own image and where I’m responsible for my own decisions.
What advice would you give future IPB students?
More of an observation, really… There is no such thing as a bad experience, there are just companies that aren’t right for you. I say that in relation to my first experience at The Conrad. I learnt a lot there, but the style of management didn’t suit me. On the other hand, it was right for a close colleague of mine who is perfectly happy there. When I first joined The Westbury, I was able to fit in just fine, whereas others didn’t feel in their place.
It’s all about finding the perfect match!