Michael Davern: My first lesson

Tuesday, 22 November 2016  |  Admin

DANCING AT THE FOUNTAIN: CONVERSATIONS WITH WORLD-LEADING HOTELIERS / Conor Kenny

Michael Davern, CEO of The K Club, on the his first lesson learnt at work:

The first thing you learn from working in pubs is that everybody is absolutely different – some of them are from a similar social background and interests to you and some of them are completely different, you might never have met people like them before in your life! You have to manage all those people, without them realising that they are being managed! You have to know when to listen, when to go away – but you also have to know when you’ve heard enough and when you don’t want to hear any more. You learn to categorise them. There are maybe three general personalities: the nice friendly ones, the OK ones, and the ones that are not so nice and you need to watch out for. And then you have to manage them all individually. You learn that the counter is the border – you keep that counter between the customer and yourself all the time. I think that counter exists with you for the rest of your life in the hospitality business. It’s always there – with your owner, with your colleagues, with your management, with your staff, with your customers – the counter is constant. That stops the over-familiarisation, the over-friendliness, the inappropriate comments. One of the trainers at the hotel school in Shannon used to say that, in order to be a barman, you had to be an acrobat, a diplomat, and a doorman. In the hotel business, it’s exactly the same. 

Extracted from DANCING AT THE FOUNTAIN: CONVERSATION WITH WORLD-LEADING HOTELIERS by Conor Kenny.