At The Shankly Hotel – the luxurious brand that has inspired another spectacular hotel in Preston which also bears the Shankly name – a whole host of new, senior managers have assembled in the delicious Bastion Bar and Restaurant at Shankly Liverpool to chat to us about their new roles over coffee.
As we start to converse, it’s clear to see that Claire McGinnis, Jordan Ebbs and Melissa Ellison, are extremely keen to start their new jobs.
From their pride and excitement about joining the team, to their love for Preston via Dundee, Manchester and Greece, here’s what our new management team over at The Shankly Preston had to say about the Shankly brand, its Liverpool counterpart and what the future holds for the trio.
Meet the Team
The Shankly Hotel Preston looks and feels like that of its Liverpool counterpart but will house many original features that will make it a completely unique experience. The opulent hotel is to offer a world-class hospitality experience, luxurious accommodation, a bar and delicious restaurant and a spectacular events space. Nevertheless, in contrast to its Liverpool counterpart in which we are sat, The Shankly Hotel Preston isn’t decorated with memorabilia of Shankly’s time at Liverpool, instead it is adorned with souvenirs of his career and time spent with Preston North End.
“I started in hotels when I was 21-years old in Manchester. I’ve been the head bartender at the Hilton, I’ve worked for Frankie and Benny’s and recently, I opened one of Marco Pierre White’s restaurants. Then I moved back to Preston – there’s no place like home” said Jordan Ebbs who, like our new General Manager Claire McGinnis and our new Restaurant and Events Manager Melissa Ellison, was keen to convey his experience in the hospitality industry, which is sure to come in useful when in his new role as Bar Manager.
Claire, who has worked everywhere from Scotland to a yacht in Greece, was just as keen to stress her aptness for the role as GM: “You can run any business, but if you’re in hospitality it’s because you like to work hard and speak to people,” said Claire assertively. She continued: “This may seem clichéd but, every problem you’re faced with is simply an obstacle to overcome.”
Melissa was the final member of the team – which already seems rather cohesive and close – to speak. Like Jordan, Melissa is Preston born and bred – so much so that she worked her way up, over the space of a decade, from her role as a waitress to occupy one of Preston North End’s most senior positions. “I can’t wait to be involved with the Shankly brand. As I’m from Preston, I’m so excited to see The Shankly come to us; it’s brilliant that people want to come to Preston.” Melissa’s smile is too wide not to notice, as whenever she speaks about her hometown it beams across her face.
What comes across so prominently as our conversation develops is just how much the trio respect and love the Shankly brand – which is clear for everyone to see.
“I want to influence new members of staff and make them as passionate about Preston as us,” Jordan eagerly concluded.
The Signature Living Ethos
As our discussion evolves, it’s clearly obvious the extent to which Claire is an admirer of Signature Living’s work: “For me, it wasn’t so much about Preston” said Claire, keen not to cause any offence, “it was more about Signature Living.” She continued:
“I’ve followed Signature Living on social media for a long time now. There’s a huge amount of social responsibility that follows Signature Living’s ethos – that’s really important to me. No zero-hour contracts, I think that’s amazing and it’s quite unheard of in hospitality… what they do with the homelessness in Liverpool is also very interesting.”
Nevertheless, It’s apparent that Claire already understands what it means to work for the company she has just eloquently described. Talking to Claire, but also to Jordan and Melissa, makes you realise the extraordinary extent to which they passionately care about Signature Living:
“A lot of companies say they value their staff, but Signature Living actually do something about it.”
The Shankly Hotel Preston
As for The Shankly Hotel in Preston, both Claire and Jordan were quick to quash any suggestion of a rivalry with its Liverpool counterpart; although Jordan did refer to the two hotels as “brother and sister,” Melissa, on the other hand, asserted: “I think a bit of healthy competition is good – it keeps you thriving to do that bit better, I think it’s good to have a bit of rivalry.”
“Building upon the ethos and the Signature Brand is what I’m looking forward to the most” concluded our new Bar Manager Jordan Ebbs – an answer that was also echoed by General Manager Claire McGinnis and Restaurant and Events Manager Melissa Ellison.
Indeed, as our conversation drew to a close, the trio headed over to pose for pictures in front of a portrait of the man whose surname hangs above the hotel they had just spoken so eloquently about.
We can’t wait to continue the narrative of The Old Post Office so, with The Shankly Hotel Preston nearing completion, make sure to keep up with the latest news by checking both the blog and our Facebook.
In the meantime, why not take a look inside the hotel’s upcoming bar and restaurant: The Carriage? You certainly won’t be disappointed.