Founder & Associate Dean for Hospitality & Tourism, City of Glasgow College
Hospitality Heath, “In Profile”, caught up this week with its founder and Chair Gordon McIntyre, who is the Associate Dean for Hospitality & Tourism at City of Glasgow College.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Geography, the teacher was really inspiring and we had the amazing opportunity of going away on field trips, often to the north and west of Scotland on our adventures. It was great for teambuilding and developing friendships too.
What was your first job?
My first job was a paper round while at school, fortunately was for an evening paper, so no early mornings to endure and it was around the streets where I lived.
Which is your favourite restaurant/hotel?
My favourite restaurant has to be Le Gavroche, in London. I had the pleasure to have lunch there the day following attending the Cateys. I was delighted to have been shortlisted, however did not pick up the award. The food and service is really quite impeccable. My favourite hotel, although I have not stayed there is the Dorchester, the lobby and lounge is beautiful, you can sit and people watch all day!
How do you inspire your team
I believe in leading from the front, I would not ask my team to do anything I would not do myself. In addition, I think by being interested in them as individuals is so important, compassion and empathy are the most important qualities of a leader. Allowing them the opportunity to take control of projects also allows them to grow and develop. Finally, by trying to be a positive role model, I would hope to add inspiration to them.
Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?
Early in my career, while working in the west of Scotland I had the pleasure of working with Donald Clark, from The George hotel in Inveraray and shortly after that, Graeme Scott at Stonefield Castle hotel. Both managers got to know all their staff and ensured that the job was fun as well as professional. It confirmed to me that the hospitality industry was where I wanted to carve a career and inspired me to attend college and move into management. From the wider world of the industry I have got to say Danny Meyer, the American restaurateur. I heard him speak at a conference many years ago and believe in his philosophy, “if you look after your staff, they will look after your customers’, his big message is put staff first!
How do you manage your stress levels?
I would be kidding if I said I do not get stressed, of course I do. Over the years I have learned to remember to be kind to myself as well as to be kind to others. I have quite a disciplined day, a routine to follow, which includes walking with the dog, Jonah and often some cycling too. I am good at switching the latop off and keeping off my phone. I also try to find time to read some of a book.
Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?
Twitter tedtrek69 and Facebook. I started on Facebook over 10 years ago, it was when I was on a HIT scholarship to Lausanne, the group of hospitality leaders I was with (who were considerably younger than me), suggested we keep in touch via Facebook – we have done so ever since! I like twitter for its simplicity, its fast and easy. I am just starting to understand Instagram!
If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now?
I was interested in working in the countryside, perhaps with the forestry commission, or going to sea in the merchant navy as a radio operator. I was offered a job by BP following an interview, however turned down the job offer.
What did you do on your last days off?
I spent an afternoon on the hill around the Carron Valley near Falkirk. There are a few mountain bike trails there, not far to go from home to get out on the bike and forget about work, you need to concentrate on the downhill bumps and jumps so its easy to switch off.
What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?
I walk every day first thing in the morning and last thing at night achieving over 10,000 steps often with Jonah, listening to music or a podcast. I like to read a chapter of a book – a real book, not a kindle or ebook version. I have also been known to enjoy a glass of wine at the weekend – as I have grown older it is now very much about quality, not quantity, which is also better for my wellbeing.