Declan believes archaic licensing laws are stumbling block for events sector

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Declan Holmes, founding director of Nightcap Event Group, which is revolutionising the hospitality sector with the provision of bartending services to a variety of customers. It recently launched its staffing solutions company, Nightcap Connect, which offers access to part time and temporary staff for key events.

What was your first job?

I worked as bar staff in the beer tent at Ulster Rugby grounds, which is where my love of hospitality and all things beverages began!

What qualifications do you have?

I studied at Belfast’s Methodist College (Methody), gaining three A levels before heading across the road to Queen’s University where I spent three happy years, before graduating with a BA honours degree in film studies. It feels like a lifetime ago now.

What do you attribute your success to?

Being resilient and having a strong support network around me has attributed to my success to date, but we are on a mission at Nightcap and still have a lot left to achieve. Both those qualities along with my strong work ethic and motivation will see us achieve further success.

How would you describe yourself to someone who'd never met you?

Loyal, ambitious and fair.

Who do you look up to in business?

George and Michael Heaton who own Represent Clothing, a British streetwear brand. They are young entrepreneurs building their brand in their own style with determination and integrity.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

I would say I am an empathetic leader, listening and communicating regularly. I would never ask any of my team to do something I wouldn’t or haven’t done myself previously.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

Our archaic licensing laws. Within the hospitality and events sector, it is real stumbling block for producing high quality event products that you would see across Europe and the rest of the world.

What website or app could you not do without?

Dad life has changed this answer for me. Our baby monitor app is one I couldn’t be without now.

What was the last book you read?

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the creator of Nike.

What car do you drive?

Mercedes X Class pick up truck, it’s perfect for events.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I previously owned a craft beer brand, Gallopers, that was stocked in over 250 outlets across the UK. I still enjoy visiting breweries and trying new beers, and my favourite local brewery is Bullhouse Brew Co in Belfast.

What's your greatest passion outside work and family?

Manchester United. I was born in Manchester and have been a United fan for as long as I can remember. I have many fond memories of trips over to games with my dad, thankfully seeing many successes over my lifetime.