Chris Turner, Area Bar Training Manager, has been with Parogon for just over four years.
- What was your first position at Parogon?
I came in as a Bar Manager at the Swan with Two Necks. I was previously a buyer at a small hotel company. It was odd coming in as a manager to Parogon because generally people climb the ladder here.
I wanted to finish my degree (Human Resources at Staffordshire University) so after a year I became a server whilst I went through that and then I became the area trainer again for the last two years.
- How has your career developed at Parogon?
My role has evolved into product development and purchasing too. I identify what the consumers want, what deals we can get for the individual sites and the business and generally keep my finger on the pulse for what’s going to be the next trend and keep it fresh.
I also help with the development of the bar managers and guide them on how to run the bar as its own business.
- Is the career progression what you expected with Parogon Group?
When I first joined Parogon I thought the end goal was General Manager and that was it. When I moved back in to training I still thought that was a stepping stone to General Manager but as my role has grown the position has evolved rapidly and actually I’m now on my own, bespoke development path and I want to stay in the training and operations line of work. So, I would say it’s exceeded my expectations.
- What are the main benefits of working for Parogon Group?
For me the people are the main benefit of working here. I feel like I have loads of groups of friends, not just in head office. I get on well with the chefs, everyone in each site genuinely seems happy to see you, we all just get on really well. I know it sounds cheesy but we really are a family.
- What do you most enjoy about working at Parogon Group?
I love that no two days are the same. It’s high energy and pressure but it’s still an enjoyable and fulfilling place to be, so it doesn’t really feel like work at times!
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be doing more operations based work, helping to deliver training to managers and chefs and working with the sites more on the buying. Hopefully, we’ll have 20+ sites by then.
In this industry, typically training is focused on the front of house but at Parogon we train the back of house too and I’m now working on a Kitchen Training Programme. I hope that I’ll be able to continue developing that further.
- What are the main values of the Parogon Group in your opinion?
Everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and everyone is passionate about what they do. I’ve seen the passion develop in so many people, such a one guy who started as a part time runner during his A-Levels and is now a buying manager.
- What did you do before you joined Parogon Group?
I was previously an Entertainment Host in a hotel chain running activities, quizzes cabaret singing and that kind of thing.