After a short break from the Parogon Group, Matt Cheadle returned when the perfect role became available in a company he loved working for.
Name / title / how long have you worked for Parogon?
Matt Cheadle, Brand Development Manager. I’ve been with Parogon since December 2011.
What was your first position at The Parogon Group?
I started as a bar manager at the Swan with two Necks knowing that the Wayfarer would soon be opening which was perfect for me as I live in Stone. I moved over to the Wayfarer as part of the opening team as the bar manager and worked my way up to becoming deputy manager.
I left the group for a short period because I had worked in the hospitality industry for a long time and I wanted my weekends back. I worked with a company that sold tills to restaurants, it was my job to train people on how to use them.
How has your career developed at Parogon?
I was only gone 5 months when I was asked to come back because a Monday to Friday role became available. I loved Parogon as a company and enjoyed working for the group so I was happy to come back, it was a great role and a great opportunity.
I moved into head office as the training and development manager in 2014, at that point we had three restaurants and I knew we were going to expand as a business. I was tasked with putting a programme together to make sure we had structure to our training. We have always focused on training but we hadn’t put anything in place to monitor and assess how people were doing.
Is the career progression what you expected with Parogon Group?
When I joined I never thought I’d end up in head office and being involved in all the sites let alone just one, so the progression has been good for me. I’ve been lucky to be in a role which has evolved quite a lot.
My job now is a new role created this year to look at the business and how we develop and how we’re viewed by customers.
A lot of it is based on visually how we look, reputation management, ensuring the website is quality and up to date as well as how we communicate to the staff, to make sure it’s engaging and well thought-out.
What are the main benefits of working for Parogon Group?
The main benefit for me personally is the flexibility in what I do. I’m not closely managed, I’m trusted to get on with my job and to do what I think needs doing. I can go to the directors with ideas and tell them “I think we should be doing this” and they listen. They trust that I’m making the right decisions. I’m encouraged to be proactive and look at new things. I love working like that.
What do you most enjoy about working at Parogon Group?
It’s good to see that I’m part of a growing company and knowing that I’m having an influence in it is so rewarding. Being able to see a difference even from two years ago to now and knowing I’ve been a part of that is great. Like giving the staff a £50 birthday voucher, being able to give perks like that is great.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years I’d like to think I’ll still be with Parogon as I enjoy working with the company. The growth is great and I want to continue being a part of that. I want to continue developing the brand as that is an area I’m very interested in and passionate about.
What are the main values of the Parogon Group in your opinion?
The values I think differ depending on where you sit in the company but teamwork is massively important and that’s something we all work towards. Integrity I think is also key especially with how we’re growing. It’s not just about what we give our customers but how we behave as a business. We’re more than what we put on a plate, we are also looking at ethical issues like plastic reduction, treating suppliers with respect and looking after our staff.
What did you do before you joined Parogon Group?
I’ve always worked in hospitality, mostly in management jobs but I’ve also done some cheffing. I’ve worked at an array of places and then I joined Parogon and found a good fit. It was somewhere I felt comfortable and it just seemed to fit with me when I joined.