In our second week of our new weekly ‘behind the scene’ series, we would like to introduce you to another member of our Know-How Squad:
Lorna Hardy, Bars Manager at Thistle Glasgow
Having worked her way up through the ranks over the past seven years that she has been with Thistle, Lorna knows how important it is to provide customers with excellent service and exceed their expectations.
Lorna started working in hospitality when she was 16. Later on, she studied Hotel and Hospitality Management while working part-time in a hotel. She became an Assistant Bars Manager after she graduated and has been working her way up since.
The Thistle Glasgow is the biggest banqueting hotel in Scotland with space for 1,500 conference guests, banquet dinner for 1,000 guests at once and numerous additional smaller event rooms. Managing the bars at the Thistle Glasgow is something Lorna regards as her greatest achievement to date. From preparing for events to overseeing staffing and stock ordering, she loves everything about her role, especially also because she gets to meet so many different people.
Our Questions for Lorna:
What is your personal favourite cocktail and why?
Pink lady, because I’m a typical girly girl and I love sweet cocktails. All you need is a Martini Glass, vodka, Malibu, peach schnapps and cranberry juice. It’s not too fancy and it’s easy to prepare!
Which tasks are part of your daily routine as Bars Manager?
To start with, I always need to know what events are going on at the hotel. That’s how I decide how much stock to order for the bars. I do this every Monday and then I also review the stock every Friday. So mainly, I need to keep an eye on the day-to-day things running smoothly. An Assistant Manager and a supervisor support me with the daily tasks, as managing staff tends to take up a lot of my time. It is very important because if everyone is comfortable and happy with what they are doing, they will treat the guests well.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that I get the chance to meet different people every day. You never know what’s going to happen next and there is an excitement that comes with that unpredictability. Meeting tourists from around the world is great and you learn a lot of interesting things from them!
What do you like doing in when you’re not at work?
When I’m not busy with work, I like playing tennis and baking. Otherwise, I love spending quality time with my friends and family.
Who would be your dream bar guest?
Jude Law or David Beckham
What are some of the daily challenges you are faced with?
Sometimes a different number of guests turn up at functions than originally arranged. This means you have to be very spontaneous and flexible so that you are able to come up with quick solutions without interrupting the guests in their function/conference. Being part of the managing team means being responsible for the whole staff, which is also a challenge, but it’s one I love.
What is the most memorable moment you have experienced in your career / What has been the most challenging day/event?
I can remember when Bill Clinton was in the hotel. That was just such a crazy day. We had to carry special passes with us and got checked whenever we entered another room. That interfered a lot with our timings for things and made it even more challenging. Overall, though, it was definitely worth it as he had a good time at our hotel.
Which skills are most important for the job of a Bars Manager?
Well, firstly, I think you have to really know your job, know what you’re doing, and do it well. Also, you definitely have to be able to delegate and communicate as the nature of the job is all about interacting with people.
Which websites/pages/books would you recommend for people to get tips on how to make cocktails?
Oh, there are many with lots of good recipes. One that I particularly like is this site http://www.greatcocktails.co.uk/ – it has all the basics and useful videos.
My top tips for making the perfect cocktail:
-Always have the right balance of flavours – sweet and sour
-Use lots of ice
Inspired by our questions for Lorna, you might want to ask her some questions yourself. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box and we’ll have Lorna answer them for you! Enjoy and fire away.
For other profiles and more information on the Know How Squad, visit the Thistle Website.