Your definition of hospitality? Slàinte is described as a way of showing good feelings to company before drinking. Throw in some good grub and I think that’s a pretty good description!
What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability is so much more than a reusable cup and we have a huge part to play. Sustainability to me is gender equality, social value, reduced inequalities and sustainable communities as a start. Our industry has lots of opportunity for women, small towns and those who would benefit from education – how amazing is that?!
Team or staff, and why? Team all day long. The person at the top wouldn’t be there without their front line. Collaboration is key when you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
Where do you see hospitality’s priorities? The people, by that I mean customers and teams. Happy teams (usually) mean happy customers, and we must give Joe Public benefit of the doubt that a lot of people do really care about how companies treat their people. We must train and upskill our teams if we want to empower them to grow and deliver that amazing service. Our (Institute of Hospitality) head of CPD Sam Coulstock has a great mantra to ‘make your team feel like rock stars at work’. A thank you goes a long way and can change the mood of a shift or entire working relationships!
Is hospitality local or global? I’m a born and bred Belfast girl, so the term ‘Irish Hospitality’ is one I’ve grown up with, we’re so proud of how we look after people visiting us. However the glorious thing is hospitality can take you from local to global before you know it…where can’t you get a pint of Guinness?
What’s best about your weekend? Most weekends you can find me gigging with the award winning Tux Fizz at weddings across the country which is an absolute ball. On weekends off we love a movie night and being ignored by my soon to be 13 year old step son!
I relax by… We live in a beautiful part of the world and love taking our dogs out in the Forest of Dean. We have Elsie the Staffie along with Marbles and Stanley the Chihuahuas.
Eat out or eat in? My better half is a chef, so I get the dining out experience at home…although I’m on potwash duties usually. When we do go out, we hit The Coconut Tree in Cheltenham!
Tea or coffee? Coffee, ICED ONLY
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise our readers. I’m a classically trained Opera Singer and starred in my first production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’ when I was just 17. It was the last show at Belfast’s Grand Opera House before theatre renovations and I was the youngest lead cast member. I went on to play Maria in Westside Story, Belle in Beauty and the Beast and my favourite role to date… ‘Ugly Sister’ in the Pirates of Penzance. Lucky I’ve got a thick skin eh?!
Clare Johnson AIH, national relationship manager- apprenticeships and training, HIT Training,
Chair, Institute of Hospitality, Youth Council