BGE Interview: Justin McCarthy, Maryborough Hotel and Spa

21 Oct 2017 | 11.41 am

BGE Interview: Justin McCarthy, Maryborough Hotel and Spa

'With Bord Gais, we actually get paid to make savings'

21 Oct 2017 | 11.41 am

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In this series, Bord Gáis Energy is sharing details on some of its SME customers and their business successes. This month, we feature Justin McCarthy, General Manager of the Maryborough Hotel and Spa in Cork.

How did you get started in the industry?

I got started nearly 30 years ago, straight after school. I went to a training hotel, enrolled in the trainee management development programme and spent the next decade learning the industry from the ground up. I joined the Maryborough Hotel just before it opened, almost 20 years ago. I’ve been the general manager for 17 years.

Have you seen much change in the industry?

The biggest change is social media. It changed how we market ourselves, how we engage with our guests, and how and where we sell our bedrooms. We now have a social media manager and a whole team dedicated to it. That just didn’t exist 15 years ago.

What’s different about the Maryborough Hotel?

It’s privately owned and individually operated, which is very rare nowadays. We have grown the business to double in size since we started. Times were difficult for four or five years. It was a tough environment to manage in, but we came out of it as better, more tolerant people.

Is there much support for local businesses in Cork?

Absolutely — I find that the businesses in Cork really work together. Over the years, different businesses in Cork have been our patrons, our suppliers and our partners. They have been fundamental to our success today and I don’t think we could have made it this far without them.

What advice would you give to someone starting off in the industry?

Familiarise yourself with all aspects of the industry, know your product and service, and the value of it. You also need to know your customers and competitors, and always be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

How important is it for you to monitor costs?

It is absolutely crucial. You’ve got to have systems and procedures in place to monitor and manage everything. Meet and talk regularly about this area, so you can stay on top of it without your costs getting away from you. Also, have interventions in place that allow you to monitor how you actually manage those costs.

How important is energy efficiency for your business?

We take energy costs extremely seriously and we look at energy usage on a weekly basis. With a hotel of this size, our annual energy costs are quite significant, so it’s really important for us to be as cost-effective as possible. Being more energy efficient not only involves making big changes but small changes too.

In your business, how do you ensure energy efficiency?

All the lighting within the hotel is energy efficient. Radiators and air conditioner units are all computerised, so we can time everything to come on and off at certain times.

How has Bord Gáis Energy helped you with this?

Bord Gáis Energy has been very helpful for cost management and energy efficiency improvements. They introduced us to the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme, whereby Bord Gáis Energy customers are rewarded for making energy savings. We actually get paid to make savings, so it really is a double positive.

To find out more about Maryborough Hotel and the work they do, visit


Photo: Justin McCarthy, Maryborough Hotel and Spa

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