CALLED TO THE BAR
JACK BROSNAN grew up around The Gleneagle. Now he tends the bar at this famous Kerry hotel.
Name: Jack Brosnan
Works: The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney
Why did you choose a career in the hospitality industry?
I was always interested in hospitality as I grew up around this hotel. My dad and his band provided the residents’ entertainment for years in The Gleneagleand my aunt is florist for the hotel so I spent a lot of my childhood here. I always wondered what it would be like to work here so once I was old enough I applied for a job in the INEC as an usher. Nearly four years later I am now a bartender and I have never looked back.
What’s an average day like in the bar?
Working in the bar can vary a lot in The Gleneagle. For most days it’s just the usual bar food service, serving the guests their food and drinks and making sure they are having the best experience that I can provide, but on other days when it’s a bit quieter we have extra duties such as preparing glasses for a banquet or extra cleaning.
Most days in The Gleneagle are busy though. On one day there could be a conference with hundreds of delegates looking for a cup of coffee, then the next day there could be a sold out concert in the INEC with nearly 3,000 people screaming at you for a drink!
What’s the best thing about working in hotels?
The thing I love most about working in a hotel is the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen, but that’s what makes it so much fun! With most jobs you’re doing the same thing every day, which can become a bit repetitive. But when you work in a hotel, you see different faces, new guests and new challenges that I look forward to every day of the week.
And the worst?
Well even though I do love my job, there can be downsides. In particular the hours... During the summer when the majority of our busy events are on there are times when we do have to put in long hours.
The Gleneagle is a very famous hotel –what’s it like working there?
Working in The Gleneagle is amazing. Between the INEC, the Acoustic Club and the Ballroom there is entertainment in the hotel 365 days a year. We have endless amounts of loyal guests that return to us year in, year out and thanks to the INEC we also host a lot of conferences and events that not many other hotels can cater to. And I think that’s what makes The Gleneagle so famous because there’s no other place like it.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan is quite simple right now – to keep working at The Gleneagle and to enjoy every minute of it.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in tourism?
The best advice I could give to someone considering a career in tourism is to just do it! Believe me you won’t regret it, and if you are ever thinking of coming to Killarney be sure to stay in The Gleneagle. I’ll be here waiting with a smile.
CAREER PATH: bar
Working in a bar can be great fun and it’s also a great way to start your career in hospitality. You could work your way up the ladder to becomea bar manager or publican.
Job: Bar Manager
Estimated salary: from €30,000
Job: Bar Supervisor
Estimated salary: from €26,000
Estimated salary: from €20,000
Bar management courses are a great way to learn all the skills you need to be a success in the bar trade – from service to management. Visit the The Next Level section to see a list of Higher Education and Further Education providers offering tourism and hospitality programmes.
This article first appeared in the 2015 issue of Get a Life in Tourism.