Trio join Flanagan’s working ownership team
Three Bermudians have joined the working ownership team of the company that runs Flanagan’s Irish Pub on Front Street.
There are now ten working owners at Harbourside Holdings, which is the holding company of the Outback Sports Bar, The Snug Café, The Loft, Divots, and Flanagan’s.
The company has an employee-owned structure which gives employees an opportunity to take an ownership stake in the business. The working owners are all qualified to take on different roles when required, giving the business greater flexibility. The roles can range from manager to bartender to waiting tables.
Lavarr Raynor, Gregory Dean and Marvin Burchall are now part of the working ownership team.
Chris Garland, one of the company’s four directors, said: “We’re in it for the long run and to sustain the slower months we worked hard to build a great team and in turn a great brand and future for that brand.
“Our staff are our greatest asset and we will continue to invest in them. We have been allowed to expand because of the great people that we’ve brought on along the way.”
Mr Raynor started in hospitality as a pot washer when he was 19. He has spent the last 20 years working his way up the ranks and is now bartender/restaurant manager. He also assists with the company’s event space, The Loft, in the Emporium Building.
He said: “Working in hospitality runs in my family, I started at Flanagan’s in 2009 and haven’t looked back — the owners don’t treat you as just an employee, when you work here you’re family. As new owners we’re looking to bring fresh ideas to the table to drive the business forward.”
Mr Dean, another of the new working owners, was only ten when he started helping out at his grandmother’s restaurant. He is now bar manager at the Outback Sports Bar, 12 years after joining Flanagan’s as a junior bartender.
His family owned the Checkerboard diner, Checkmate restaurant and Dean’s Bakery in Somerset. He said: “The more skills you have the more valuable you are to your employer, and that dedication is what has gotten me to where I am today at Flanagan’s.
“It’s an exciting time for the company. A huge part of our success is down to our team’s relationships with our customers.”
Also joining the working ownership team is Mr Burchall, who is head bartender at Divots.
He said: “What is different about Flanagan’s is that the owners are all hands-on. They will get stuck in wherever is needed and that inspires the whole team to work harder.”
Commenting on the future of the industry, he said: “I have a positive feeling, there’s so much more variety now and different parts of the island are coming alive. We’ve seen that with Divots in Warwick. I would say to anyone looking to make it in this industry, take the opportunities that are given to you and be prepared to make sacrifices as well.”
This year, the company won a number of Best of Bermuda Awards from The Bermudian magazine, including Award of Excellence, Favourite Pub, Friendliest Wait Staff, and best overall in the food, drink and entertainment division.
Mr Garland said winning the Award of Excellence was down to team effort, and was something Harbourside Holdings hopes to build on by expanding its working ownership team.
The company said it is always on the lookout for hard-working and talented Bermudians. Divots recently employed a kitchen porter who was part of “100 jobs” challenge launched in March by Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, which aimed to connect 100 unemployed or underemployed Bermudians with 100 employers.
Showing support for the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s national tourism plan, Harbourside Holdings’ front line staff have undergone training to become certified tourism ambassadors, while Flanagan’s has a national service standard certification after completing the BTA’s programme.
Dean Mills, another of the company directors, along with Mr Garland, Al McIntosh and Barry DeCouto, said: “The growth that we have experienced over the last few years, with opening up Divots and The Loft, is not only attributable to our commitment to the island but also down to the growth and creativity we’ve seen in the tourism industry.
“Visitor levels have a direct impact on our business and we hope to see them continue to rise in the coming years.”
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