In the wake of his appointment as deputy managing director of East Lodge hotel and restaurant, Iain Hardman has been busy enhancing his management skills on one of the region’s most respected Director Development Programmes.
Iain has been general manager at East Lodge for the last five years and despite being a member of the Hardman family who own the hotel, Iain has been expected to work his way from the bottom up through the hotel’s staff structure like any other team member. This has seen Iain develop an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the business - exposed to everything from front of house to finance, from guest check-in, to washing pots and cooking. Since his promotion to deputy managing director, ongoing training has been seen as a key aspect in his development in the role.
Run by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC), the Director Development Programme is designed to develop the skills of directors so they can better ensure their business achieves its objectives. In what is expected to be difficult trading conditions for the hospitality industry in the next twelve months, any edge can make the vital difference between success and failure, which has prompted East Lodge to send Iain on this course. The practical rather than theoretical nature of the training also allows the skills learned to be instantly applied to the business, as Iain was to discover.
“I have been really excited about refreshing my knowledge whilst also developing my director skills on this course” explained East Lodge director Iain Hardman. “I loved the more practical and interactive nature of it, which made the whole process feel like time well spent. As a director of a busy hotel, I don’t have time to waste so the director development course was refreshing in being concise, to the point and worthwhile. Even more rarely for a course like this, I am already employing some of the methods learned and I can give the course no higher recommendation than that!”
Iain served for many years on luxury sail boats and super yachts, spending a great deal of time in the Caribbean and United States, where hospitality standards are notoriously high, but as a member of the family of owners at East Lodge, Iain could not be seen to receive any special treatment and notwithstanding the benefits his past experience brought to East Lodge, Iain had to prove his worth – leading by example and by undertaking regular training.
“Having worked on all sides of the business, I had the experience East Lodge needed and together with the knowledge taken from this course I am looking forward to helping take the hotel forward to the next stage of its development,” continued Iain. “While my past experience in both retail and sales management has proved invaluable in ensuring that we continue to run a tight ship at East Lodge, this latest training has been vital in ensuring East Lodge keeps fully abreast with modern thinking and can apply this to the ever changing world of the hospitality business.”
Set in the heart of the Peak District National Park, East Lodge is the closest hotel to Chatsworth and has proved a popular place to stay and dine. As well as being recognised as one of the finest hotels not just in the region but the UK, East Lodge is a popular venue for weddings, national conferencing and important business meetings, when only the very best will do. Selected by Conde? Nast as one of the three finalists in their “best venue hotel” award category, the hotel is situated within 10 acres of its own grounds and guests continue to be lured by the unique country house charm and the sheer quality of food and accommodation on offer.
In addition to the hotel itself; the restaurant has two AA Rosettes and has previously been voted Derbyshire Restaurant of the Year, East Midlands Small Hotel of the Year and silver award winner for “Hotel of the Year” at EnjoyEngland’s annual awards of excellence. Food is one example of the quality aspect of East Lodge, being supervised by head chef Simon Bradley. Recruited by Iain, Simon trained at The Ritz in Paris before working with the celebrated Raymond Blanc at LeManoir.
Owned by the Hardman family, East Lodge has picked up a wide range of prestigious accolades. The hotel has again achieved the coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” accolade with red stars for 2010 and East Lodge is one of just 48 hotels in UK presented with a Visit England Gold Award.