A 34-year-old hospitality professional from Kendal has re-launched his career in the sector with a new managerial role. Craig Harrison is the new Restaurant and Banqueting Manager at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on Windermere, having returned to the tourism industry from a 9 to 5 job in a factory.
Having moved back to the Lake District with his young family, Craig decided earlier this year that he needed a job within normal working hours. So he swapped the sociable life of hospitality for something more conducive to family life, taking a steady, regular hours job with an engineering and manufacturing firm.
Three months later he realised just how much he was missing his work in hospitality, the buzz of big events, the camaraderie of the sector and helping people enjoy themselves. So he applied for a managerial role with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, landing the restaurant role at the hotel group’s flagship site and overseeing a team of 18 staff.
“I’m loving being back in hospitality,” says Craig. “Some of us just have a natural affinity for customer serving roles and we really thrive on the social and leisure environment. I guess I fall into that category. I’m now in charge of food and beverage in The Windermere restaurant, and whilst I often work longer hours, I get paid for that additional time which is unusual in the hotel industry.”
Craig started his career in hospitality as a teenage potwasher, before progressing on to a number of roles in Cartmel, including as bar manager at Simon Rogan’s Pig and Whistle Bar. He subsequently worked as restaurant manager at the Black Bull in Malden, near Scotch Corner, after its £3.5m refurbishment.
He then landed a restaurant manager job at The Malmaison in Newcastle.
In that role he entertained many famous guests, including Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue, Mo Farah, Ricky Hatton and Irish rock band The Script.
General manager of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa Nevil Jeffery adds: “Craig is a great addition to our F&B management team and it’s heartening to see a natural hospitality professional returning to the sector having experienced working life in a different discipline. I knew when interviewing Craig that hospitality is his passion and he loves what he does best. He is clearly enjoying being back in the restaurant environment and I look forward to many years working with Craig.”
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is recruiting across the group’s four venues in Cumbria and North Lancashire. To find out more and apply, visit https://englishlakes.co.uk/jobs/