Clare Mcleod has worked in hospitality since she was 13 years old. Her mum and dad used to work in the pub trade so she was expected to help out from being a girl. She always knew that she wanted to run her own business. She said, “My Gran was an amazing Baker. When I was little I imagined that I’d end up having my own bakery.”
Before being the Managing Director of the Beechwood Close Hotel she was General Manager of the Holiday Inn in York, which was a training hotel , delivering all the training for Holiday Inns across the country.
My dad was probably the biggest influence on me. He had always worked for himself. When we took over the hotel, mum and dad moved into the house next door for a while. Dad could turn his hand to anything, from helping out as Night Porter, to sorting out the plumbing if we needed him to. He sadly died a couple of years ago. I really miss him.
He’s where I get my practical, hands-on attitude from. There is no typical day when you run a hotel. One minute I might have to sort out a blocked loo, and the next, I have a newly wedded couple calling to say thank you for the fantastic day that they’ve had with us. No two days are ever the same. I really do love looking after people .
I suppose the key to my success has been able to spin lots of plates and be practical. You must be able to turn your hand to most things, and be a great people person to run a hotel.
We are currently renting the hotel but the aim is to buy it very soon. We just need to increase our turnover slightly to make it happen, and that will be a very proud day for all of us.
It’s fabulous being a family run hotel. Any decisions we make, means that we can implement them straight away and they don’t have to go through a management team before we can make them happen. It also means that the buck stops here.
I feel like it was fate, the day that we moved into Beechwood Close Hotel. It had come up on the market a year before, but we weren’t ready to take it on then, and suddenly a year later it came up again. It was the perfect time for us. And its just down the road from where we used to live, which is great for the children for schools and their friends.
I’m also a big believer in giving back, so if any charities need a meeting room for free, I’ll happily talk to them about it.