#DYWKeyworker - Adam McMaster - Loch Ness Clansman Hotel

Friday, 29th May 2020

Name: Adam McMaster

Job Title:Now: General Manager / Director

Started as: Kitchen Porter/ Waiter Almost everything in between!


Cobbs - Loch Ness Clansman Hotel

Hometown: Inverness

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

Likeminded people. Family. Travelling and experiencing such differing hospitality in other countries fascinates me. I’m always looking to see what I can learn from others and incorporate to improve ourselves. But above all a passion for almost all food & drinks.

How long have you been with the company?

Since I was 12 years old. My mum would take me into work with her as it would be slightly too busy for one person to be on shift, but not busy enough for two people. I was the half person!

Describe your day-to-day role;

Ensuring the safe and successful operation of the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel & Visitor Centre which welcomes 400,000 visitors annually through our site. Addressing all aspects of running the site including staff management, customer relations, budgeting, revenue & expenditure monitoring, maintaining the operation, increasing our visibility globally & presence locally through marketing

What kind of training have you done?Have you completed any professional qualifications?

Mainly on-the-job training, Some external e.g Personal Alcohol License, Health and Safety, Fire Safety, Emergency First Aid, and was extremely fortunate to attend Ecole Hoteliere Lusanne for a short scholarship course to learn about Leadership & Management

What skills have you learned?

Confidence, Customer interaction, People management, office based skills, F&B service, Event planning & Management, adapting to any given situation as best I can.

Have you completed any professional qualifications?

No - maybe things would’ve been easier if i had - but there’s no substitute for just diving in and doing something - the learning curve is usually steep!

Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?

I love being in the highlands. Too often, the natural beauty of our surroundings is overlooked and our wonderful part of the world can be taken granted. Some of our guests through the hotel have waited their whole lives just to visit Loch Ness, and that really puts it in to perspective how lucky we are

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

A mixture of customer service/ people skills, organisation, decision making and innovation. Being able to thrive on being busy is important - as there is always something to be done.

Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

Just how much I enjoy being at work! The team around me is really more like an extension of family - you have times which test you which ultimately bring you closer together as a team.

Is there anything unusual about your role?

The broad cross-section of knowledge required to run a hotel is ever expanding. e.g I would never have anticipated having to have a broad and in-depth understanding of topics such as sewage maintenance!! My job is really a little bit of lots of jobs - which means my day can be extremely different every day, and that variety is something I enjoy, and keeps me stimulated.

Do you get a lot of support from your company?

The senior management in our company is comprised of three families, everyone of them would help with anything asked of them, it’s a collective effort.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Seeing something which we have done that makes a real & positive impact on our customer’s individual experience.

Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

No - although i had always worked in cafes, restaurants, hotels up until (and during) university, hospitality as a career crept up on me! I had wanted to be a stockbroker for many of my school years because i’d heard they make lots of money. I then was torn between wanting to be a joiner or a surgeon. I went as far as attending university open days for medicine - and came away completely sure i didn’t want to do that - ironically because i didn’t really want to deal with people. It was suggested (more than once) that the job i was really looking for was a butcher! I then completed my Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering with Renewable Energy before realising that what I enjoyed doing was right in front of me, and had been all along. And now dealing with people is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

Skills learned in hospitality such as customer service, barista training, bar / restaurant service, housekeeping etc, are in your toolbox forever. Skills which will enable you to travel the world, with the prospect of work if you want it. That weekend job washing dishes might not be where you see yourself longterm, but it’ll teach you skills such as a strong work ethic, you’ll learn to work as part of a team, and it’s a stepping stone to career heights limited only by your own goals. In the UK, we are so far behind some other nations because hospitality is often viewed as an unskilled/ fallback option rather than a prestigious career path. Don’t be put off by this - its a profession where you get back what you put in, with the potential to be immensely rewarding.

What is your career goal?

To continue expanding our family business, and making our brand a household name.

How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?

I still think its strange to see myself as a key worker and certainly not in the same sense as healthcare workers are, but we are trying to do our bit to provide our local community with safe options for grocery shopping and varied takeaway food delivery service. I feel fortunate that we are in a position where we can make a difference, however small.

Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker?

I think its the messages and comments we receive through our social media channels from the local community praising what we are doing, and the lifting of spirits that something like food delivered to a vulnerable member of the public who is shielding - in complete isolation - gives. The appreciation and joy is what keeps us doing what we are doing.