Operations Manager, Ibis London Whitechapel (UK)

Francisco Sanchez

Francisco Sanchez's Story

I ended up studying hotel management after studying economics and sociology in university but wanted to get a job to get money, so I studied hospitality management as part of this degree. We had to go on an internship for three months, so I picked one of the hotels they were collaborating with and I really liked it there and they decided to employ me after one month. I had a salary and a job and I wasn’t looking for development but after 2-3 years working in different hotel tasks, mainly reception as night auditor, then the crisis kicked in and it was time to live abroad and moved to the UK.

For a couple of years I didn’t work in hospitality but those things didn’t work out and my partner suggested I do something more consistent rather than part-time jobs so decided to go back to what I knew, hotels, and this is when I landed in Accor, in ibis Docklands. And from day one, I could see it would be quite different. I was straightaway recognised, they could see a lot of potential in me, and after a year they said they saw me as team leader or supervisor. In Spain no one told me they could see any potential. In fact, only when I gave in my notice they said they had amazing plans for me.

From there, they had lit my fire and that burns until today, the only person who could stand in the way was myself. I am an operations manager now – overseeing the operations of the hotel, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. Some of my friends are architects, medics, and they are experts in what they do, I am an expert but I am, as you say in England, a jack of all trades, that is what you become.

If you have it in your heart and you are a people person, do not lose it, it will take you far in the industry. Hospitality is an industry that comes from the heart, and other industries come from the head. If you feel that someone is not warming your heart then you are maybe not surrounded by the right people.

Most of the people we hire in an entry level jobs come from different backgrounds. I have teachers, psychologists, an engineer. Hospitality is an industry that welcomes all people. If tomorrow I wanted to work somewhere else, like an engineer, they would not give me the job because I have not been trained for that but here, anyone who has it in their heart is welcome.

I want to keep delivering for staff and guests, that’s what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter whether I do it in the form of a general manager, room division manager, operations manager, I am sure I will keep growing.

  • Francisco Sanchez
  • Operations Manager
  • Ibis London Whitechapel (UK)

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