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Fiona Campbell

CEO Association of Scottish Self Caterers

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

Either Art or History of Art. I loved both and took them both up to A Level. I then went on to Glasgow University to complete an MA Hons Degree in History of Art. Art is a reflection of the cultural, social, and political contexts in which it was created. Art and tourism and hospitality have a lot in common: they are both universal languages that transcend geographical boundaries.

  • What was your first job?

Charge Hand at the Cul de Sac, an iconic 90s bar in Glasgow and Deputy Manager of the Volcano night club which featured in Trainspotting in 1996 (I was in the office while it was being filmed). This was an incredible foundation for my career, kickstarting a range of skills including customer service, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, management…. I’ve always been a people person, so hospitality was a perfect fit.

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin has become a firm favourite for my husband and I. A safe place to escape the world. The journey to the food to the view – you can’t beat it. And the staff are dreamy – I worked with the GM in my 20s. Everyone should check out ‘From Manhattan to Port Appin’ – a cocktail dream!

  • How do you inspire your team

I like to think that by fostering a positive and supportive environment, my team feel motivated, valued, and empowered to do their absolute best toward our shared goals. I like to think that I lead by example, demonstrating enthusiasm, professionalism, integrity, and a strong work ethic in everything I do. But more importantly, I value every member of the team as equals. And we laugh – a lot.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

Caroline Millar, sector lead of Scottish Agritourism. Her commitment to the sector is unwavering and her leadership is exemplary. She is a powerhouse, a joy to work with and she inspires me daily. She’s also one of the most heavenly people in tourism and I am honoured to call her a true friend.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

The last four years have been relentless in terms of Covid and STL Legislation being rolled out. At times, I simply haven’t managed my stress levels. I’m focusing on getting better at doing so, before it becomes (more) damaging. When it all gets too much, I jump in the loch which I am lucky to have at the end of our garden. Cold water brings on your parasympathetic nervous system and calms you down. I only just found that bit out, but I’ve been doing it instinctively for decades.

  • Instagram, Twitter (X) or Facebook – and why?

Twitter (X) and LinkedIn for work are essential, to keep up to date, to deliver comms and to network. Amazing the traction you can get on X…. Can be terribly useful! Facebook and Instagram are a treat for personal comms, but I never feel like I have time. More an occasional observer than a contributor.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
    think you would be now?

Law. I’d have become a lawyer. But I only know that because of my career to date.

  • What did you do on your last day off?

Brunch and a Bloody Mary at The Ivy, followed by a lunchtime film at the Everyman cinema, with sofas and wine, and my fabulous husband. Followed by the train home. Heaven.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

I walk, I run and I swim. Having very definitely not got the work / life balance even vaguely right over the last 7 years, 2024 is about resetting that balance. This year, using the Conqueror Challenge app, I am (virtually) swimming the channel and (also virtually) walking from John O’Groats to Lands End. Being outside or in water is my mindfulness. And the outdoors is free!