After hours with... Jamie Stevens

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: General manager, Full-time

Jamie Stevens
Jamie Stevens
Jamie Stevens recently joined Abode Manchester as general manager. He started as a graduate trainee with Malmaison before joining Abode as operations manager and then moving up to GM of the group's Glasgow hotel

Jamie Stevens recently joined Abode Manchester as general manager. He started as a graduate trainee with Malmaison before joining Abode as operations manager and then moving up to GM of the group's Glasgow hotel.

My big achievement

"Becoming general manager of Abode Glasgow at the age of 28. The hotel has been really successful which I'm really proud of. It won Glasgow Hotel of the Year in the Scottish Hotel Awards and Best Restaurant in the CIS Excellence Awards last year and the hotel's executive chef Craig Dunn was voted Restaurant Chef of the Year in the same year.

"A few weeks ago I was also an inspirational speaker for an event with HIT Scotland and that was a huge achievement for me. I wanted to dispel the myth that hospitality is all about long hours on little pay. It's a really rewarding industry and you get feedback every day. You don't get that in many jobs."

How I got to where I am:

"I had a part time job at the bar at Malmaison in Glasgow while I was studying computer engineering at university and was invited to apply for Malmaison's graduate scheme. I wasn't studying hospitality so it was a real compliment that I was asked to get involved. I'd never considered hospitality before, but really enjoyed it, so when I was offered the place I took it.

"After 18 months at Malmaison in Newcastle I joined Abode as group operations support manager in 2007. My role was to ensure brand standards were met across the group including the Michael Caines restaurants. I was at Manchester when they launched Abode there in 2008, so being GM of the Manchester property is like coming home really. I took the GM role at Glasgow in October 2008 and then moved here to Manchester this year."

The most valuable thing I've learnt:

"I think the most important thing I've learnt is that you have to adapt to change well, especially in this current economic climate. No-one likes change, but when the recession hit there were redundancies and people were asked to do more in their roles. Everyone had to adapt to survive -whether it was adapting the offers we took to the market, or adapting to the way our roles changed. You also have to constantly re-evaluate what you're doing, because what worked five years ago may not work now.

"I also think it's really important that you understand everyone's role within a hotel. The restaurant staff need to understand what the reception staff are doing and they need to know what housekeeping do. As a manager you need to ensure everyone is working together and I hope that I've given the staff I've worked with the tools to do that."

Regrets

"The only regret I have is not moving into the industry quicker. It was not an industry I had thought much about when I was at college and it was only when I started in my part-time job at Malmaison that I realised how rewarding it is.

"I think we all have to make mistakes in life to be able to learn from them, so I can't say I regret anything else."

Future plans

"In the short term I'd like Abode Manchester to be recognised for the best customer service in the North West and for Abode to be put on the map for fantastic fine dining. We are still aiming for the restaurants to gain Michelin stars. Over the next five years I'd like to stay with Abode - I believe in the company and what it does. I know Andrew Brownsword is looking for a London property and I'd like to be general manager of the first Abode in London when they do launch there.

"In the next 10 years I want to be able to say I'm the general manager of a world renowned hotel and I'd like to work abroad to experience hospitality elsewhere in the world."

Related topics: Business, People, Hotels, Career Profile

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