Ian Hamilton knows what it is to be a Deltic employee, having been part of the company since its inception. He began his journey with the company in Plymouth, before moving to Kingston, where he juggled a job and his university studies.Once graduated, Ian was offered a trainee management position at Oceana Kingston. He says “I began as trainee manager in 2006, then made my way up to deputy manager, then became a senior manager before I moved onto The Hippodrome. Initially I planned to change jobs once I had graduated, but there is such a sense of friendship and teamwork at Deltic, it feels like there is no challenge is too big – that ethos encouraged me to look to the business for a long-term career.”
Kingston’s Hippodrome had been closed for a year when Ian walked through its doors in September 2009 as deputy manager. His challenge was clear – to fulfil the potential that the site had within it to be a brilliant local late night space.
As Ian says, ‘The Hippodrome was one of 14 clubs which would potentially be sold off. I knew I had a job on my hands, but I’m now one to shy away from a challenge so I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in!’.
Ian got to work, making a couple of fundamental changes within the business and set about building an excellent, like-minded, customer-driven team. Under his leadership, the club went from strength to strength. “I made the call to take promotion in-house and it went from there really. It was great to have freedom to control prices and products, as it really enabled us to push forward with progress.’
When asked what those coming into the industry need, Ian’s advice was clear. “agility is key, as a general manager you are essentially a lot of jobs rolled into one! Legal, accountancy, HR function, you name it, we do it! The beauty of that is that no two days are the same”
Ian has gone above and beyond, engaging within the Hippo’s community by becoming Chair of Kingston Pub Watch, director of Kingston First, Kingston IAG group, Crime Reduction board. “It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, it helps the club to build profile within the community, and sets a good example to our industry”
At one point, the Hippodrome became one of Deltic best performing venues, something that is down to the hard work and commitment of Ian and his team. “What’s so great about working at Deltic is the camaraderie. It’s the same across Deltic HQ and our sites across the UK – there’s that passion for people, delivering great service and creating that winning culture.”