Pictured: Adrian McNally, General Manager, Titanic Hotel Belfast
Adrian McNally, General Manager of Titanic Hotel Belfast which recently received the overall award of Ireland’s Hotel Restaurant of the Year, the regional award of Ulster Hotel Restaurant of the Year and the Great Place to Stay Quality Award at the Irish Hotel Awards in July 2021.
What was your first job?
After graduating, I moved to London. I had completed my management trainee experience at the now Renaissance Hotel Heathrow Airport and they took me on full-time as a Conference and Banqueting Co-Ordinator
What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?
While studying for my ‘A’ Levels I worked behind the bar part time in a local hotel. I simply loved the buzz of it. I was initially studying for Dentistry but changed to Hotel Management upon completion of my ‘A’ Levels, a decision I have never regretted.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Opening Titanic Hotel Belfast! To arrive when it is a construction site and then to finally open the doors to the public on 10 September 2017 was an amazing accomplishment. I know I could not have done it without the amazing team around me back then and thankfully many are still with me. The opening team were outstanding as too is the current team. I am very proud to lead them.
Career wise, would you do anything differently?
We would all do things differently if we could turn back time, but I am happy with all I have done. I am very thankful for the opportunity to have worked internationally for two decades, to learn and value other cultures and to meet some amazing people along the way.
In one sentence, how would you define success?
Set a goal, work to meet it, and celebrate getting there.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My father always said to me ‘it’s nice to be nice’, I am a true believer that when you treat people with respect you get much more from them.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I value everyone’s opinion, also I try to understand what can motivate them. Recruit the right people, provide the right environment, and sit back and watch the results. Allowing people to excel at what they can do is important. Never ask a rabbit to swim, asking for the impossible will cause disappointment. As for myself, I am too stubborn to sit on my hands.
How do you handle adversity?
I am a pragmatic person and will review the situation at hand. It has taken me years to develop this skill. Staying calm and focused is essential to make the correct decision in the face of adversity.
How do you relax?
I simply love to cook and travel. Nothing is more comforting than food or more exhilarating and educational than travel. I share food, but never the travel snaps!
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
The hospitality industry is continually changing and improving. It is essential we bring young new talent into the industry and allow them to achieve great things. The pandemic has given many of us a chance to refocus on what is important personally and professionally. Practices in the workplace have certainly changed, new talent to the industry will not be blinded by practices of the past that may stifle progress.