Name: Brad Burnett
Date of birth: 8 July 1977
Job title: Front of house manager
Location: De Vere Cavendish St James, London
First job in hospitality? Part-time guest services attendant.
How did you get from there to your current job? My career began with Dynasty Hotels in New Zealand. I started at a four-star corporate hotel called City Life in Auckland. I was promoted to assistant concierge after six months and then moved through the reception ranks to assistant front office manager within two years.
I then transferred within Dynasty hotels to the Heritage Hotel, a resort-style property in Queenstown, as assistant front office manager. I learnt a lot there: instead of the steady flow of corporate business in Auckland, I would have ten tour buses on the hotel forecourt, half of which had no English-speaking guests.
After a tiring 14 months in Queenstown I came to the UK to gain international experience. I was very lucky to find a home with the De Vere Slaley Hall Hotel in Northumberland where I became assistant F&B manager in March 2002.
I was promoted in September 2002 to bars manager, which was a very challenging position, but the experience I gained was immense.
Then my dream job was advertised. This position was front Of house manager at the De Vere Cavendish St James, my current job. The hotel was new and I felt it would be a huge challenge and test for myself.
What are your main responsibilities? I manage a team of 23, consisting of reception, concierge, switchboard and the garage. I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the front of house, as well as looking forward and planning the future for my team.
What do you most enjoyabout your job? People. I deal with internal and external people and both good situations and not so good ones, but I enjoy everything about my job. I love it.
What do you most dislike about your job? Complaints go with the territory, but they can be demoralising, especially after putting a huge effort into getting things right. I guess if we didn't have complaints, we would not be able to progress. Sometimes my social life takes a battering, but I knew that when I stepped into this game.
What attributes do you need to do your job? Patience, personality, being able to manage people in a positive way, being able to get the best out of somebody. A wide range of hotel experience and knowledge of how a successful operation needs to function.
What would be your next move? I've only just started my current position, but I'd like to be a deputy general manager or operations manager. I want to be as prepared as possible and know that I can do the job 110%.
What would be your ultimate career move? To be a successful general manager at a top hotel or resort. Don't mind where it is.