M&C Report talks to Mick Horan, former operations director for Ha Ha Bar & Grill and the Living Room and owner of the new Study Room concept, about his best investment, his best business decision, and the best piece of advice he’s ever received.
What is the most important action the industry can take to encourage the consumer? Greater emphasis on quality and service as opposed to driving footfall through price to compensate for a the general lack of people investment and empowerment of general managers.
What single action could Government make that would make a difference? Removing the bureaucracy around licensing and planning and speeding the process up, this will lead to greater investment, employment and better consumer choice.
What is your top priority? Customer satisfaction.
What has been your best investment? Investing time and belief in people, without that any investment will fail.
What has been your best business decision? Starting my own company; unless its yours you’ll never really make the decisions.
How much has your business changed to combat the recession? My particular business has thrived in recession helping develop and turnaround under performing businesses.
Who is doing something special in the industry? Eclectic Bars, some exciting things in the pipeline with those guys - look out for Dirty Blonde opening soon.
Most admired brand? The Living Room, an amazing group of people where the cornerstones of TLR prior to its sale last year. I was fortunate to be involved as operations director for a period of time and have some very fond memories. It survived as a brand for 14 years and, in my opinion, it could have been as relevant today as it was when it launched in Manchester in 1999.
Who has been the most influential in your career? Reuben Harley, chief executive of Eclectic Bars. He’s given me some great opportunities over the past decade.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.