60 Seconds With

“Keep going no matter what is thrown in the way” – 60 seconds with Darren Moore, General Manager of The Church

By Business & Finance
02 July 2024

Darren Moore is the general manager of The Church, a magnificent church turned into a cafe and bar. The Church has an ideal city-centre location, and is complemented by a range of versatile spaces for all manner of get-togethers and celebrations. 

What was your first job?

My first job as such was cutting grass in the local area and beyond with a friend when I was 13 years old. I think it actually instilled a really good work ethic and business acumen at a very young age. My first employment was a year later working on Saturday afternoons in a local bar – it was a very different industry at that time with little or no food and pre smoking ban. The bar was mainly frequented by lads who had moved down from the country working in the building industry, It had the feel of a local country pub on most days. It was great craic and a really good place to learn about people and the industry.

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

I think realizing that the industry suited my personality, I’m a very social person and love the interaction with customers and the enjoyment that can bring whilst working. Also, I’m always on the go and I’m not really a person for sitting still, hospitality lends itself to that type of personality, you are on the go all day and constantly looking at how you are doing things with lots of scope for change.

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

We not only worked through a very difficult period for the industry from 2020-2022 but managed to grow the business substantially in the years after whilst completely refurbishing the entire venue. We achieved this by retaining a lot of our key staff, working extremely hard and staying positive.

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

I think knowing what I know now I would have taken a job in Dublin City Centre earlier in my career. I spent a large part of my early career in the suburbs and it’s a different proposition to a busy city centre venue.

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Getting to where you want to go but having people there with you when you get there.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s probably a cliché but it’s very true: Surround yourself with good people. One person alone cannot get a business to its full potential.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

Having the mindset that we can always do things better, more efficiently and make it easier for staff to do things the right way. Foster an environment where change is welcome, encouraged and promote continuous improvement for staff.

How do you handle adversity?

I have managed businesses through two different difficult times for the industry, the financial crash and the recent pandemic. Definitely focusing on what was within my control to change or manage, staying positive and approaching situations like a project.  Always be willing to adapt and change the plan but to keep going no matter what is thrown in the way.

How do you relax?

Time with the family, I have three boys and I’m a coach with our local club, which they all play for which is a great escape for me. I also still play for the clubs over 35s team, sport is a great way of switching off from work.

What is your favourite (non-business) book?

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination but a very sobering insight into a very dark period for humanity.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

We want to become market leaders in what we do, to become a must see for anyone coming to Dublin and to be a great place to work. In doing so we believe we can grow the business by 15-20% each year over the next five years.

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