00:00:03 Hi, my name’s Douglas L and I’m the Food and Beverage Manager at David Lloyd Leisure in Raynes Park. Being a Food and Beverage Manager entails the day to day running of a very busy club for myself, running the staff, doing my rotas, stock-taking, having complete control over the department financially with regards to budgets, Profit and Loss Accounts, and all accountability to everything that the Food and Beverage Department does at Raynes Park. I think the biggest thing I enjoy about my job would be the customer interaction. It really drives my passion to see people smiling, sitting around chatting, getting great service from my team, and it’s just the most rewarding part of that job I think.
00:00:41 I’ve been in the hospitality trade for 13 years. I’ve been through many different career paths inside hospitality. I’ve been a barman, I’ve been promoted to a supervisor, I’ve really worked my way up through the ranks. When I left school I took a job with Rover, and I trained in their Accounts department, I was adamant I was going to be an accountant, I had a huge love of figures, and it was something I always wanted to do, my parents would be very proud. But whilst working at Swinton Automobiles on the Rover site I took a part time bar job, and to this day my parents would probably hate me for saying this, but it was the best thing I ever did. And it really established me, and I found who I was at that point.
00:01:27 It went on from being just a barman working part time, to the same bar a year later being the Manager of that bar, just through sheer determination and hard work. I kept up my college studies, I did an NVQ in hospitality, and then just proceeded to forge my way through the career. I worked for certain brand names like Wetherspoons, I was a supervisor for a Wetherspoons bar, and Yates the Wine lodges, I was a supervisor for them too. I then took a massive leap of faith and moved myself to Dublin, all on my own, just went to Dublin, I was 19 years old, took a job with a company called Beaulieu’s, and ended up being a Manager for them, they had several Managers in the site, it was a very big site. And it was the absolute best thing I ever did. It really did create all the passion I needed to stay in this career.
00:02:19 Being a young Manager I wasn’t taken very seriously, especially ten years ago. It – the only way I could prove myself was with hard work – physical hard work, and good results. Which I believe has got me to where I am today.
00:02:35 The biggest impact in my life to date would have been myself coming out to my parents, when I was 18 years old. It – it was a very big thing for me to do, and at the time was so scary. But now it’s – it was absolutely the best thing to do at the time, yeah. I get my inspiration from two people in my life. My mother, she’s – she’s just the absolute world to me. She’s been through so many difficult things in her life, and she’s kept us very grounded.
00:03:05 My other inspiration is my partner, he’s from another country, he’s come to this country, he’s taught himself English, he’s doing the same things working through his career, he’s going to college. That gives me inspiration, you know, it’s – the fact that this country can be quite open to that sort of thing, it means a lot to me.
00:03:26 My ethos in life would probably be live hard, work hard. Yeah, absolutely. I love my friends, and I love socialising, but without the career, without the job I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do. I live in a beautiful apartment, I live in Canary Wharf, I have some amazing things going on in my life, and it’s all down to the fact of my career choice, and where I am today.
00:03:51 There’s always avenues I can explore, still inside the hospitality field, which I intend to do, ultimately opening my own business, which would be fantastic, if I ever get there. But yeah, I mean this is absolutely what I want to do for the rest of my life.