Lucy Haines: Career Profile

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Lucy Haines, managing director, Vinopolis
Lucy Haines, managing director, Vinopolis
Lucy Haines joined London wine tasting venue Vinopolis as managing director earlier this year, following senior commercial roles at Compass, Mint Hotels and TUI Travel. Haines is now responsible for all Vinopolis enterprises, including the restaurants, retail outlets, event spaces and the wine tour, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment. 

How I got to where I am now: 

I began my career in city banking as an investment analyst, where I was responsible for looking after businesses within the hospitality and leisure sector. This gave me a great insight into the industry as a whole and I decided that it was the field that I wanted to work in. I left the city for a career in hospitality and I've never looked back.

I've always been lucky enough to work for companies and products that I enjoy and believe in – my passion and enthusiasm for these has helped me get to where I am today. I've also been able to work with a lot of great people throughout my career who have inspired me to strive forward and reach for the top.

I chose to work at Vinopolis because: 

It's such an exciting time for the business which presents a lot of opportunities to make the most of my expertise and experience. Vinopolis, after a strong 13 years, is now looking to grow its market presence with the refurbishment of the wine tour and the subsequent re-launch in October which brings a lot of fresh challenges and opportunities for me at this point in my professional career.

I've also always really admired Vinopolis as a brand and I think that it's a great consumer experience – I was actually present at the launch of Vinopolis in 1999 so it's extremely exciting to be a part of the next stage in the business. My passion for food and wine has also been a large part of my hospitality career so this was the perfect opportunity to extend it further.

My biggest challenge:

Every role has had its own challenges, but I think that the biggest and most exciting challenge so far is the refurbishment of the Vinopolis wine tour. It is an incredibly exciting project to be involved in and it will play a key role in the business going forward. Being responsible for the redesign, branding and ultimate user experience is a huge challenge but I'm enjoying every second of it.

My greatest achievement:

Throughout my career I've been responsible for taking a number of businesses through difficult times and it’s such a great feeling when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm always striving for the next big achievement and the success of the Vinopolis wine tour refurbishment will no doubt be one of the highlights of my career.

My inspiration: 

There are many inspirational people that I've admired and looked up to throughout my career. I've always been lucky to work with very dynamic business leaders who have consistently delivered results throughout challenging times and I tend to look to them for inspiration and guidance.

My view on women in hospitality: 

The situation has definitely improved over the last few years. I think that my generation is very lucky because there have been many hard-working, inspirational women who have laid down much of the groundwork for us and overcome a lot of challenges already to ensure that women are able to reach their potential.

In my city days I worked with a lady who did her utmost to make sure that women were able to progress in the company in what was undeniably a very male dominated industry. She really drove me to continue with my career and is still someone who inspires me now. I'm a firm believer that anything can be overcome with sheer determination and hard work.

What I love about hospitality:  

The dynamic environment and working for products that I'm passionate about keeps me motivated, as well as the fantastic people within the industry and the consumers who share the same enthusiasm for our products that we do.

If I wasn't working in the industry I'd be.....

I’m sure that I would still be working within the hospitality industry one way or another. I’m passionate about working with people and delivering quality products and experiences to consumers, so it is the ideal sector for me.

My advice for a young entrepreneur:

My top tip for success is to work for a company or a product that you love and are passionate about. I also believe that hard work and enthusiasm are the key to success in this industry.

Related topics: Business, People, Pubs & Bars, Career Profile

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