Kevin Vahey, Assistant Bar Manager at The Connacht Hotel: “Communication is the Biggest Thing.”
As part of our Employee Stories series, we’re finding out why people enjoy working across the Connacht Hospitality Group. This time, it’s the turn of Kevin Vahey, Assistant Bar Manager at The Connacht Hotel…
“If you’re eager to learn or progress, it’s a good spot for it – they recognise that and they do tend to nurture that as well, so long as you show that you are interested, which has benefitted me,” says Kevin.
“To have the opportunity to go step by step – I’m not skipping anything – is good as well. I’ve been given the opportunity to take my time,” he adds.
An Overall Insight
It’s very true. Kevin has done nearly every job there is to be done at The Connacht Hotel because he’s been keen to become familiar with as many aspects of the business as possible. He’s worked in deliveries, he’s served food to customers’ tables – he’s even spent a sweltering summer painting rooms to freshen them up for guests. It’s all benefitted him in the long run, and it has allowed him to get to grips with how every department works.
Kevin is working full-time with The Connacht Hotel in his current role as Assistant Bar Manager. Altogether, the Food & Beverage team could have around 30 people on board at any given time, so it’s Kevin’s job – alongside the Bar Manager – to help guide them and ensure that everything is running smoothly, from rostering to day-to-day operations.
He’s also juggling his managerial responsibilities with studying Hotel Management at the Atlantic Technological University. Combining the two is an unenviable workload, but he has taken to the task with aplomb and has successfully grappled with excelling at both.
“With service, things aren’t the same all the time – and that makes it more interesting. I’m starting to enjoy the admin side of things as well. Recently, we had new menus introduced, and getting that set up on the tills for service – those sorts of things are enjoyable. Even doing the roster, I really enjoy…because it’s planning, organising, and having a bit of foresight,” Kevin explains.
Planning really is half the battle when it comes to the hospitality industry, but with Kevin as Assistant Bar Manager at The Connacht Hotel, they are in more than safe hands in that respect. On the day he speaks to us for this Employee Stories feature, he’s preparing to welcome in a big work crew from Heineken, and it’s clear that he has put a lot of effort into getting everything ready with his team.
“When I’m under pressure, I tend to get a rush of adrenaline – even with the small details, we like to make sure everything is perfect. That means I know we’re going to get nice feedback, and that comes back to the staff, too,” Kevin adds.
Upskilling and Communication
Kevin is always looking to reach a new level, whether that’s through upskilling or simply by learning something new that could help his fellow colleagues. That comes with its own challenges.
“It’s on your mind that your decisions are impacting other people.
“Communication is the biggest thing. The main thing is being honest, being straight, and letting people know where they stand; making everything clear to everyone. Once everyone knows that, it’s a lot easier to take steps forward,” Kevin says.
*Since this article was published, Kevin has taken up a new position as Duty Manager at The Connacht Hotel.
If you’d like to join Kevin at The Connacht Hotel make sure you keep an eye on the Connacht Hospitality group’s Careers page here.