Search

From cleaning windows to running the business: Yarmouth man appointed hotel director

PUBLISHED: 11:41 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 21 September 2020

Grant Smith, 28, and Nick Mobbs, 57, outside the Imperial Hotel on North Drive in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Keiron Tovell.

Grant Smith, 28, and Nick Mobbs, 57, outside the Imperial Hotel on North Drive in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Keiron Tovell.

Archant

A man who started out cleaning windows and dusting wardrobes in a seafront hotel when he was 16-years-old has been appointed a director of the business.

Nick and Aileen Mobbs of Great Yarmouth's Imperial Hotel with their dog Sammy. Picture: Imperial HotelNick and Aileen Mobbs of Great Yarmouth's Imperial Hotel with their dog Sammy. Picture: Imperial Hotel

Grant Smith, 28, from Great Yarmouth, has admitted he wasn’t a model student - but loved his Saturday job at the Imperial Hotel, on North Drive in the town. The hotel has been run for three generations by the Mobbs family, who have made Mr Smith its first ever director from outside the clan.

Nick Mobbs, 57, said: “My daughters have both made it clear that a career running Imperial Hotel is not for them at this time.

“Aileen [his wife] and I fervently wish for the hotel to remain independent. Two years ago, we instigated a training scheme for our management team to teach them how to take responsibility and ownership for their department.

“After six months, it was clear that this was an area in which Grant excelled.

The Imperial Hotel, Yarmouth. Pic: ArchantThe Imperial Hotel, Yarmouth. Pic: Archant

“We realised the solution had been under our noses all the time, and with more training and experience, Grant could take on far more responsibility. He proved himself yet further during the enforced Covid-19 closure, showing great resilience and determination.

“The time is right to award him directorship status. Aileen and I can relax a little, take more time off and play a bit more golf, reassured that our beloved business is in a safe pair of hands whenever we are not here.”

MORE: ‘Waiting for the effects of coronavirus to hit is like waiting for a tsunami,’ says hotel boss

After school, Mr Smith concluded the plumbing course he had started was not for him and asked Mr Mobbs for a full-time job.

The owner offered him a hospitality apprenticeship, Mr Smith achieved his NVQ level 2 and the rest is history.

Mr Smith said: “It’s funny, but I really remember telling Nick when I was 16 that I’d have his job one day. I haven’t got there yet, but this feels like a huge step along the way.

“The longer I worked here, the more I felt passionate about it. But I didn’t realise how much more there was to it until we started the management training scheme.

“I love the customer service side of things and making sure our guests and residents have a great time.”

Mr Smith is currently making plans to re-open the hotel’s Café Cru Restaurant at the start of October.

You may also want to watch:


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury