Spotlight Hospitality Health's Gordon McIntyre

Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2022 by Izabela KrajkaNo comments

Welcome to our new 'Spotlight' series where we will shine the light on the industries' amazing leaders and inspiring figures! Our first guest is Hospitality Health's founder and Chair, Gordon McIntyre. We've asked him a few questions and got some amazing answers. Keep reading to find out whether Gordon McIntyre passed a Higher in English or not! :)


  1. Can you introduce yourself?

    I am Gordon McIntyre, 60 years young and a father of three amazing children, David Katie & Louise, (well young adults now!) and I am passionate about the hospitality industry.

  2. Where did you start your career?

    I had the pleasure to begin work in the industry at the George Hotel in Inveraray, Argyll, working with the famous Donald Clark. I am sure many people reading this will know the George well, infamous in the west of Scotland. It was a busy hotel to embark on my career, but it was just so much fun both on and off duty! I continued on as a Trainee Manager with Stakis hotels for several years before moving to job as an Assistant Purser with P&O Cruises, not linked to the ferries!


  3. What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

    I am motivated to get out of bed by the fact that every day is different in this wonderful industry, It has been so good that I do not feel that I am actually working. It is like going from having one interesting conversation with someone to another, just a joy to socialise and be paid for it! I am fortunate to have a positive mindset and try to get the best out of all situations, I value integrity, humility, empathy, kindness and enjoyment – these simple beliefs help to get me through the day.


  4. What do you do in your current role?

    I have recently taken retirement from the post of Associate Dean for Hospitality & Tourism at The City of Glasgow College, I was employed in Further Education for 35 years. I am now a consultant to Industry and Further Education, recently supporting World Skills training at the same college.

    I am also the founding Chairman of Hospitality Health, a charity we formed nearly 4 years ago. The trustees and I felt that staff in the industry required support in areas of addiction and wellbeing, however with Covid and the pandemic, our support changed to provide Mental Health training and support to the sector. We have just finished delivering 5 levels of courses, funded through the Tourism Recovery Fund, supported by the Scottish Government. We delivered the programmes in collaboration with HIT Scotland.


  5. What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?

    What a great question. One regret I had on leaving the College of Food Technology in the early 80s, was not being brave enough to go into business myself, so who knows where I would be now if I had taken some brave pills!


  6. Who is your hero? Why?

    Too many to mention all here, as I have been inspired by so many people along my journey. Donald Clark certainly cemented my thoughts to enter the industry and then Graeme Scott at Stonefield Castle in Tarbert, Argyll, allowed me to be a manager at a very early age and taught me loads very quickly. (I went on to teach him a few things back!) I need to mention Andrew Fairlie, who demonstrated determination to achieve perfection on a plate, but who was so calm in the kitchen and a true gentleman in the social settings. I had the pleasure of spending time with him quite often through business and socially. His strength was an inspiration to all.


  7. What advice would you give your younger self?

    Don’t be frightened to take a risk, you will always learn from mistakes and don’t count it is as failure. Progress over perfection - It is not always about the final destination or goal, there is so much to learn along the way. Enjoy it as it flies by too fast!


  8. How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?

    Now that’s a tough one as businesses reopen up after lockdown and recent removal of restrictions.

    Here goes – I think the most important thing is that the industry learns from the past 2 years. Staff are the most valuable resource, so I think they need to be better looked after. Several business owners and managers now see this, by providing EAPs, wellbeing champions, having certificated Mental Health First Aiders on site, 4 day weeks, managers taking time to talk and listen to their staff needs.

    I know technology is often talked about and could be a threat to jobs, however we will always need chefs, food servers, mixologists, housekeepers, accountants, social media marketeers etc, however I think a greater flexibility in staff skills will be the future, i.e muti-skilled individuals will be the staff in demand! Service is so important, you can rescue a bad food experience with excellent service, but no amount of great food can rescue a bad service experience.


  9. Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?

    Now that’s a no brainer, there is no other industry that provides so much fun while on duty. No 2 days are the same, you work with and meet so many amazing people, who can and will become friends for life. The opportunity for fast promotion, if you want it, is there for the taking and handsome salaries to match. The wages and befits are excellent and commensurate with other industries. The opportunity to travel the globe is obvious, as every country requires the skills that hospitality provides. Finally, if you try it and its not for you – you will have learned so many transferrable skills you will be able to find employment in many other industries with ease.


  10. Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?

Now that’s a bit personal, but here you go

  • I have a scar on my backside, from sliding down a hill while on holiday in Dunoon(long time ago!) on a cardboard box, I did not see the broken glass as I was speeding down!
  • Many know I enjoy cycling, however it takes me 25 minutes to cycle up the Rest and Be Thankful (military road) and only 5 minutes to get back down (via the forest track) – I hold on tight!!
  • I did not pass a Higher in English (not bad after 35 years in Further Education!) Thankfully it was about vocational education, not academic attainment back when I started. ps, I do have a degree!


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