2010 - Present
Travelodge Hotel Manager
Edinburgh Cameron Toll
Travelodge Dual Site Manager
Edinburgh Dreghorn and Edinburgh Musselburgh
Travelodge Assistant Manager
Trainee Manager, London-based Marketing Company
- Carolyn Bisland
- Hotel Manager
Q: What made you choose to join your current employer?
I started working for Travelodge Hotels Limited eight years ago in the Edinburgh Central Hotel. I had previously worked in a hotel in the Scottish Borders and was looking for work in the industry. I have always enjoyed the fast-paced environment of hotel work and with Travelodge being one of the most up-and-coming hotel chains in the city I applied for Travelodge. After various trips to the capital I was well aware of the Edinburgh Central hotel as it is one of the company's flagship hotels.
Q: What is the basic function/purpose of your current role?
I am currently employed as the hotel manager of the Edinburgh Cameron Toll Travelodge, which is the most recent new opening in the company. The hotel, which has 115 rooms and a large bar café, has been open for six weeks and has proven to be one of the busiest sites in Edinburgh. We have a mixed customer base serving travel trade groups, tourists, business and leisure customers. My day-to-day duties are looking after my team, making sure they know what their job is and are set up for the day, dealing with any customer needs, checking e-mails and ensuring that the hotel is running smoothly.
Q: How relevant were your qualifications to you getting the job (i.e. did you need qualifications in specific subjects, a general level of education or were they largely irrelevant)?
The great thing about working for Travelodge is that you don't need any formal qualifications to join; it's all about having the right attitude and applying your experiences effectively from both inside and outside of work to achieve your own and your teams' full potential.
My qualifications are in Languages and Export Management and the accounting part of my course has helped greatly in understanding the financial dealings of a busy hotel.
My qualifications obviously gave me a good understanding of business needs; however, after I started with Travelodge I had in-depth training and support from my manager on all the different departments.
Q: Describe some of the key tasks involved in performing your current role and the frequency with which you have to perform them.
Daily - I catch up with the team, check e-mails, to see whether there is anything from my District Manager (DM), any new policies or changes to how we do things, check all previous day's paperwork, deal with any issues that may arise and ensure that the hotel is ready to trade for the day.
Weekly - I complete a stock take of all the bar café stock, report all the weekly figures, input the staff salaries and also complete the weekly health and safety checks that are required i.e. fire alarm tests. I hold a weekly huddle meeting with staff to comply with any changes in the business and also get their input on the hotel.
Monthly - I hold health and safety meetings with the team, conduct health and safety training, archive any paperwork that needs filing.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work each day?
The first thing I do when I arrive at work is talk to my team to find out what's happened while I've not been around. Then start on my daily tasks.
Q: How big is the team in which you work?
Currently I oversee a team of 20 staff. I am also part of the Edinburgh district which comprises 11 hotels and nine managers, headed by the District Manager.
Q: Describe how your job interacts with the rest of your team.
I have worked as a Dual Site Manager and also as a Single Site Manager and I find the way the job interacts with the team is very different. Working as a dual site manager I found that I was very hands-on in the hotels because of the team structure.
Since moving on to Cameron Toll I have found my role to be very different. As we were a new opening the whole team was involved in the set up of the hotel.
I found this very beneficial as all the team got to know the layout of the new hotel and it was a good team-building exercise. From this they have become very passionate about Cameron Toll and have a great sense of pride in what they have achieved in the short time that we have been open.
The staff had received in-depth training at the Edinburgh Central Travelodge and this meant that I had time to take a step back from the front-of-house running of the hotel and could focus more on being able to organise and set up the back-of-house areas of the hotel.
Now that the hotel is more settled I am back to being hands on, helping the cleaners get started with the room cleaning, helping out in the bar café with breakfast, speaking with customers!
Q: How would you describe the working culture of your current employer?
Travelodge is a very good company to work for and I am very proud of what I do. The company as a whole has clear guidelines of what they expect as a brand and it makes it easier to comply with when every Travelodge is the same.
The support you get from everybody is paramount to achieving your goals and this in turn enables you to overcome any obstacles that arise.
Q: What career avenues do you hope to be able to pursue in the next: two years, five years & ten years?
So far in my career I have progressed from Assistant Hotel Manager to Dual Site Manager to Hotel Manager of a large bar café. In the future I hope to excel in the area of food and beverage.
Over the next few years I would like to continue my career with Travelodge and diversify into different roles within the Travelodge management structure
Q: What do you like most about your current role and why?
I enjoy the diversity of working in a busy city centre hotel; every day is different with a different set of challenges.
Some days are quiet and you can catch up with the team, others you'll have a massive group of overseas customers checking in all at the same time and you'll have to work out how to successfully communicate with them. I enjoy the interaction with my team and being able to develop team members to fulfil their goals and ambitions.
I currently have two team members from existing hotels in Edinburgh who have transferred to Cameron Toll in order to develop their skills and hopefully go on to the Travelodge Management Development Programme.
Travelodge prides itself on developing its workforce - we offer a fantastic Management Development Programme which equips employees with the tools to become a future hotel manager within 3 - 6 months.
Q: What did you/do you find hardest about your current role?
I found the hardest thing involved in a new opening is the logistical challenge involved with different agencies / suppliers / contractors to make sure that the hotel opens on time and ready to trade. I overcame this through having a set plan and sticking to it. I also found this very enjoyable because I like a challenge and the end result outweighed any hardship.
Q: How close do you think that the general public’s view of your employer to the reality?
I spend a lot of time talking to the public and over the years I have found public opinion to be pretty spot on. They know Travelodge as a transparent company. What you see is what you get.
Q: Would you recommend your employer to a friend and if so, why?
I would recommend Travelodge to any of my friends as I have really enjoyed my time here so far. The company is a vibrant leader in all aspects of the budget hotel industry and is the place to be in the coming years. The company is dedicated to its values - simple, fair and efficient - which filters down to the hotel staff who know that there is always someone there to support you.
If there's an employee you think epitomises your company ethos or you'd like to draw attention to a particular role, why not get in touch with our team right now? Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org.