Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.
He was born in Namibia and grew up in South Africa. Frits has been working in the hospitality industry for 20 years and moved to Ireland in 2016.
“I studied Psychology and decided to travel before going into my profession. I started working behind a bar and restaurant in Hong Kong in 1999. I loved the buzz of it all. The rest is history!
I arrived in Killarney on my first day at Muckross Park Hotel and Spa, a sunny winter morning. I drove down from Cork, through Killarney town on my way to Muckross Park and was met by one of the most beautiful vistas I had ever seen: snow-capped mountains ahead of me and the Lakes of Killarney to my right. It was the best first morning on the job ever.
My day normally starts with a full property all-around check, ensuring the hotel presents perfectly externally and internally and that we are staffed adequately across departments. I tend to check in on our Head of Departments and teams. I stick my head into the kitchen and generally ensure everyone knows I am around to support them.
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An appreciation for your colleagues, the people who choose to work with you on a daily basis is paramount to a harmonious workplace. One person who went above and beyond for Muckross Park Hotel is Fergus Cameron, our Employee of the Year. Pictured with General Manager Frits Potgieter. #staffappreciation #muckrossmoments #iNuaCollection
We then as a team prepare for the day by going through all our guest arrivals, requests, preferences and any events we are hosting to ensure we can deliver on the guest experience. I try and meet as many guests as I can during the day, whether in our service areas, on arrival or on departure.
The rest is fairly ad hoc and my time is divided between sales and revenue analysis, driving new initiatives and managing any challenges that present themselves. It is so varied day-to-day and a lot of fun.
The people are the best part of the job, our wonderful hotel team and our brilliant guests. It is immensely satisfying to see and interact with happy employees and smiling guests, they also tend to go hand in hand.
About 10 things in the last five minutes have taken me by surprise at work. Hospitality is incredibly dynamic and the generosity and ingenuity of people will always surprise you.
One of our employees just managed to return passports to some of our guests who accidentally left their documents behind in Mayo. The look on their faces when their passports arrived in Killarney on time for their onward journey was priceless. I have no idea how he managed this.”