Always setting the highest standards

In the Spotlight this week is Cian Landers, general manager at Belfast’s five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel

In the Spotlight
Cian Landers, general manager of Belfast's five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel (DARREN KIDD)
  • What was your first job?

My first job was unsurprisingly in hospitality, working behind the scenes as a commis chef at the Station House Hotel in County Meath. I’ve always been really into food, but these days I enjoy sampling it more than preparing it.

  • What qualifications do you have?

I have a BA hons degree in hotel and catering management from Galway Hotel and Catering School, GMIT. I am currently completing an MSc in hospitality and tourism management at Ulster University.

  • What do you attribute to your success to?

I can honestly say that resilience, teamwork and passion are the main drivers to my success. I love hospitality and the variation it brings every day, and I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by a passionate team. I am a firm believer in listening to your team and your guests, remaining attentive to their needs, and allowing feedback to direct the approach. Even though I’m in charge of the operation I believe our success is thanks to our collaborative ways of working.

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

I’m definitely a people person who is very passionate about what I do. I am confident, approachable, quick-thinking, and honest. I’m also quite analytical and like to see reports and results in black and white.

  • Who do you look up to in business?

John Kavanagh of Hotel Partners.

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

The Fitzwilliam Hotel is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. During my time here and throughout my career, I have set high standards and aspirations and practice what I preach. I think it’s important to focus on the positives, play to people’s strengths, and provide constant and honest feedback. Every single person brings something different so it’s about encouraging people to do what they do best. Sincere appreciation, acknowledgement and encouragement goes a long way.

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

Better global flight connections and more longer-term planning for the future across all of our economy.

  • What website or app could you not do without?

I use so many apps outside of work, but at work, I couldn’t manage without Revinate, which is a tool we use daily for all guest feedback.

  • What was the last book you read?

Steve Jobs, The Biography. I find other people’s stories fascinating and love finding out about their career paths.

  • What car do you drive?

A Kia EV6. It’s fully electric and I love it.

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself

I am a keen sports fan and love following the Irish rugby team.

  • What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

Our dog Roxy. She is a Cavapoo (a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a poodle). I adore Roxy and she’s absolutely ruined. It’s no surprise that there are at least half a dozen photos of her on our hotel website.