Paddy Walshe, licensee of Hunters Hill Hotel

Group: Gallagher Hotels.
Initial Role: Group Marketing Manager in August 2015.

Background: In 2011 I moved to Australia for what was meant to be a one-year working holiday. Like many, I fell in love with Australia and decided to settle here. Before Gallaghers, I worked as a DJ and then transitioned to marketing manager for the Eastern Hotel Group. After working there, I purchased a café in Elizabeth Bay and operated that business for a couple of years. Although I enjoyed my time as a café owner, I missed the buzz of the Sydney hotel scene so in 2015 I put the café on the market and started working again in pub scene – this time in marketing for the Gallagher’s Hotel Group.

It was always my aspiration to work for Gallagher Hotels. I actually approached Patrick and Angela in 2013 to see if there was a position available within the company. At the time they had just hired someone but did say they would keep my details. Fast forward 18 months later, Patrick contacted me and as they say the rest is history.

Training at Gallagher Hotels: Trained by the business in the “Gallagher way”, marketing webinars, business development coaching and, in terms of upskilling, learning quickly to work with 14 diverse venues. I’m lucky in that I have had time to prepare as much as possible for the licensee role. Aside from the mandatory requirements (TAB/AML, RCG, RSA etc) I’ve been working with one of Gallagher’s most experienced licensees daily to learn the ins and outs of running a hotel. We work as a team in the group and all the other licensees and management are only a phone call away.

Career aspirations: It’s no secret that I want to be an owner myself one day, ideally in partnership with Gallagher Hotels. This is part of a personal five-year goal for me.

Management support: I’m fortunate enough to work closely with Patrick and Angela on a daily basis, who both have an ‘open door’ policy and make a point of giving their staff the tools they need to succeed. In terms of the broader management team the Group Executive Chef Ronny Ghantous and Group Operations Ian Corke have been instrumental in supporting me so far. Their experience and knowledge of the industry is second to none.

Thoughts on Gallagher Hotels? What stands out for me are the people and the culture. Even though it’s a large company it still feels like a tight family unit – similar to what I’m used to back in Ireland. This also filters into the pubs and the way we operate. The culture supports the hardworking and ambitious and rewards you for it. No matter what your background. Patrick and Angela pride themselves on hiring on personality and give everyone a chance – even me!

Patrick Gallagher, managing director of Gallagher Hotels, on Patrick Walshe

Performance: Paddy is one of those guys who gets ahead of the curve, always has a balanced perspective and nails almost everything that he does. He’s very reliable and always goes above and beyond. He loves front of house and loves being involved with the public. He really gets a kick out of being in the venues and seeing how things work.

Fit for the role: Paddy, like many of his compatriots understands hospitality at the core and it simply comes naturally to him. Further to that he takes pride in his work and understands how important it is that things function correctly. He seeks feedback from those he is trying to serve and deals with criticism of others, but most of all has an ability to self-analyse. Aside from all that he is a man of integrity.

How do you nurture employees that you want to stay with the business long-term? We try to give them a career path and a future. We’re always available for help and we proactively assist them in the execution of their jobs. We try to make work fun and try to give them what they want. In some circumstances employees have been given the opportunity to become partners and it’s not unheard of to give someone a Porsche, although I’m not expecting that one to be repeated any day soon!

This case study was first published in a HR feature in the September issue of Australian Hotelier. To view the rest of the feature, click here.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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