Daniel Straiton

Group Manager, The Edwin Group

A typical day starts at 10.00am in the morning. Checking for any post and any emails we have received, looking at the rota to see what cleaning duties need to be done that day, making sure the bar is ready for when customers arrive, getting the till from the office, filling up the ice bucket, cutting fresh fruits, checking and cleaning the toilets, checking and cleaning the bar and putting the TV’s and the radio on. Finally opening the doors ready for whatever the day may bring, it’s different every day. Some days finish I can finish at 6.00pm others could be 1.00am.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
The ability to work in a team and be a team player – To have good communication skills with both your customers and your fellow staff members.
To have a good knowledge of the products you sell.
The list goes on – be attentive to customer’s needs, maintain high levels of cleanliness, good memory, good personality, work e ciently and responsibly.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
This was not a career I choose when leaving school. I first trained as an engineer for five years and then went on to work in the finance sector. It was not until 2000 when I went traveling and worked bars in backpackers that I found my passion for a job I really enjoyed. I came back to Jersey in 2003 and worked at the Moulin De Lecq and since then have worked my way up from Bartender to Manager. I’m still learning new things every day.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love the daily challenge of working behind the bar, each day is different. I enjoy the camaraderie between staff and customers. Even though now I spend more time in the office the challenges are the same. It’s all about making sure your customers are happy.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
As a person I don’t like to look upon or think of anything in a negative way. Though if this is a career you wish to pursue just be aware of the hours you may have to work. Split shifts if working in a restaurant environment. The salary may not be as good as the finance sector, but as someone who has worked in both for a considerably time, I would say I am a much happier and healthier working in the hospitality trade. Try some part-time shifts to see how much you enjoy it.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
When first accepting the job we had some in-house training on procedures, also had some cellar training with the breweries. I also took my BII personal licence exam which covers a range of skills needed for the job. I have taken health & safety courses, first aid course and customer service course. The opportunities are there to take many different courses, it’s always good to take them and further your knowledge of yourself and fellow team members.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
If you are thinking of doing this for a career I would suggest doing some part-time bar work / restaurant work or both if you can. This will give you an idea of the effort needed to be successful in this business. You must have a passion for this job, the same could be said for any work but even more so for hospitality. The ability to communicate and understand people if working front of house is also essential. Don’t let friends or family deter you if you know this is something you would be good at. Enjoy, then the opportunities are there for you.