From cleaning windows to running the business: Yarmouth man appointed hotel director
PUBLISHED: 11:41 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 21 September 2020
A man who started out cleaning windows and dusting wardrobes in a seafront hotel when he was 16-years-old has been appointed a director of the business.
Grant Smith, 28, from Great Yarmouth, has admitted he wasn’t a model student - but loved his Saturday job at the Imperial Hotel, on North Drive in the town. The hotel has been run for three generations by the Mobbs family, who have made Mr Smith its first ever director from outside the clan.
Nick Mobbs, 57, said: “My daughters have both made it clear that a career running Imperial Hotel is not for them at this time.
“Aileen [his wife] and I fervently wish for the hotel to remain independent. Two years ago, we instigated a training scheme for our management team to teach them how to take responsibility and ownership for their department.
“After six months, it was clear that this was an area in which Grant excelled.
“We realised the solution had been under our noses all the time, and with more training and experience, Grant could take on far more responsibility. He proved himself yet further during the enforced Covid-19 closure, showing great resilience and determination.
“The time is right to award him directorship status. Aileen and I can relax a little, take more time off and play a bit more golf, reassured that our beloved business is in a safe pair of hands whenever we are not here.”
After school, Mr Smith concluded the plumbing course he had started was not for him and asked Mr Mobbs for a full-time job.
The owner offered him a hospitality apprenticeship, Mr Smith achieved his NVQ level 2 and the rest is history.
Mr Smith said: “It’s funny, but I really remember telling Nick when I was 16 that I’d have his job one day. I haven’t got there yet, but this feels like a huge step along the way.
“The longer I worked here, the more I felt passionate about it. But I didn’t realise how much more there was to it until we started the management training scheme.
“I love the customer service side of things and making sure our guests and residents have a great time.”
Mr Smith is currently making plans to re-open the hotel’s Café Cru Restaurant at the start of October.
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