My name is Mike Sweeting and I am a born and bred Yorkie. Sweeting fits quite well in to York’s only Chocolate Hotel (not literally!). All my life has been in Hospitality except when I left school and did a paper round. I’m a bit of a player and worked for Managed Hotels including Marriott and Hilton, and Franchised Hotels including Best Western and Hampton By Hilton. I have worked for Costa, Cocktail Bars, privately owned Hotels, Carvery Restaurant and Betty’s!
I did catering at school and loved it! I then went on to do Hospitality and catering AVCE at College and two NVQ’s one in Food Prep, as I trained to be a chef, and then one in Hospitality Supervision. I am can also pull a mean pint and flair (a little bit!) my latte art is poor though so need more education in this!
Outside of work I have two wonderful children aged 4 and 2 who I practice my Change Readiness skills with. We love being outside and walking, playing and going to the beach. I take them both swimming as I feel it is important they learn this skill young. I am also a keen cyclist. Other hidden talents I have are I can roll my tongue.
I have a real passion for developing people. I want to have a legacy of “I worked for Mike, he was an amazing coach, teacher, friend and colleague” I love that people from my past still call me the Chief. I love working with enthusiastic people who have energy and drive. I like to explore what makes people tick and work to strengths. I have no time for people who waste my time!
My journey to Splendid was an interesting one. Prior to my role now as General Manager, I was an Operations Manager at the Hampton By Hilton In York. There was no career progression where I was working and I love the city I live in. I have always been hungry to progress and develop my skills. I saw the job on Caterer not knowing much about Hotel Indigo or Splendid, but I applied for the job and remember so much about my interview. One of the main things I remember was although I was nervous I had nothing to lose and went with a very open-minded attitude to the process and was just myself. I knew what I was good at and what I wasn’t and told no lies to Mr Bailey – CEO and Gemma – Group People Director. After the interview, I was so surprised when I was offered the job. What a journey I am on and loving the exposure and challenge to get better every day!
There is a sense of believe and purpose behind what we do and I feel that this filters down. I feel that the Hospitality Industry has a bad press, and even now still trying to convince people that it’s a great industry. There is an essence of wanting to please people and a culture of loving what you do. That essence must come from me as GM and free flow down to all levels. We need to be innovative with our ideas and set the bar. We don’t follow the trends we create them. We don’t look at the pace and follow, people look at us and get inspired. It’s a journey and won’t happen overnight but, that sense of belief in what we do is right and is creating extraordinary guest experiences for our team and our guests is a challenge I will not fail in. My fellow GM’s within the group are down to earth and supportive to everyone. There is no feeling of they are better than me. we support each other where we can.
I have been fortunate to work with some exceptional talent and surrounded by caring individuals who believe in what we are trying to achieve. I have been part of a hotel “new opening” and met the deadline, been shortlisted for Hotel of the year twice for the Visit York Tourism Awards, won Hotel of the Year in our first full year of operating for IHG, and I was nominated for GM of the Year at the Splendid Awards 2016.
Being part of the Splendid Family has enabled me to travel and learn from so many people. I have been to Berlin twice as part of the Indigo brand and I am so grateful that Splendid have allowed me to do this. Great for my own personal development and also great to get my Hotel and name out to the masses!
It is great working for a diverse company that has so many brands that work well in the portfolio. Being part of the Hotel Indigo franchise means to be part of a very special project that embraces personality and allows freedom to deliver a customer experience that is not ordinary. The unique layout of my office is part of the “not ordinary” too… I have a few random bits like a bear from my trip to Berlin, two Lego pieces of myself and my Deputy GM, and I have emoji badges that replica how I am feeling today.
What I love most about the Splendid Family is that they all care and I have a great working relationship with them. I have learnt so much and one of the biggest things is, if you don’t know something, just ask. We must learn and develop and with an ever-changing environment there is always something new to learn. Do not be stagnant and stand still, be on your toes and read for action!
Splendid Hospitality Group has given me more confidence and self believe. I have become more knowledgeable and skilful, can champion decisions and drive initiatives.