From The Archives: Hospitality Ireland Talks To Garvan Grant Of Traffic Media

By Publications Checkout
From The Archives: Hospitality Ireland Talks To Garvan Grant Of Traffic Media

Exclusively for Premium Plus and digital website members, Hospitality Ireland presents a piece originally featured in the April 2017 issue of our print publication in which we talk to Garvan Grant, a co-founder of content creation and digital marketing company Traffic Media.

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So tell us about your business.

"I run a small company and know how important social media is for building business, but I just never have time to do it." - That's where Traffic Media comes in: we do it for you. We particularly work with cafés, restaurants and hotels.

Where did the idea come from?


I was working in The Irish Times, but was doing social media for my wife Domini Kemp's restaurants and cafés in my spare time. I loved doing it and people kept asking me to do it for their companies, but I didn't have time. Then I realised my hobby could become a business.

How did you start off?

My business partner, Julian Fleming, was the one who said to me that it was a really great idea. He also writes content for family and friends, so we decided to set up Traffic Media and use our passion for writing to help others promote their passions.

What's your goal with this?

We want to sell the company to Facebook in June for about €6 billion. However, in the unlikely event of that not happening, we want to grow organically and take on new clients. That is the most exciting part of this job - working with people who love what they do and who want us to shout about it.


What was your best business decision?

Marrying a successful businesswoman and chef! And, of course, teaming up with Julian was a pretty smart move too.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

At the launch of my book, The Trueish History of Ireland, I got up to thank the person who had launched it, economist David McWilliams, and, due to nerves, completely forgot his name.

What's your favourite holiday destination?


Brittas Bay. I love that beach, rain, wind or rain and wind!

What was your worst job?

I was a door-to-door salesman in Dublin one summer for about four minutes. The first place I tried told me to go away (not using those particular words) and I went away and never knocked on another door.

What was so bad about it?

I can't even remember what I was selling, but I'm pretty sure it was stuff that people didn't want. I'm no Donald Trump, you know. Well, apart from my love of fake facts, fake hair and fake tan!


If you could do any other job, what would it be and why?

Believe it or not, I would love to run a boutique hotel with Domini either in Ireland or somewhere like Sardinia. With her cooking and my ability to sit around chatting to the guests while drinking white wine, we would make a great team.

Do you have any pet hates?

We have a pet I hate called Ugly Norman. Okay, my daughters will kill me because he is not ugly, his name is Milo and I actually love him more than my daughters. I know, that sounds slightly ambiguous, but let's move on.

What is your business motto?

If you love what you're doing, keep doing it.

What is the best advice you ever received? 

"Finish your dinner or it'll be the wooden spoon for you." She was a wise woman, my mother.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

You know Ulysses by James Joyce? You know Stephen Dedalus, the brooding poet? Well, I most identify with Winnie the Pooh.

Name one thing you always have in your refrigerator?

I often put Ugly Norman in there. But apart from him, sriracha. I actually attend a Sriracha Anonymous support group. It's for people who add it to pretty much everything.

Your recipe for a successful restaurant?

Good food is pretty important! But, on a serious note, service is crucial. If wait staff aren't friendly, nice and welcoming, I won't go back, no matter how good the food.

What do Irish restaurants do best?

Service in Irish restaurants is generally pretty good, though there are certain places where staff are so achingly hip, they're achingly rude.

What could they do better?

Social media.

Are Irish people good restaurant customers?

"Wow! This food is really awful." The waiter comes over. "How was your food, sir?" "Oh, gosh! So delicious! Thanks a million!"

What would your death row meal be?

A bottle of 12-year-old Irish whiskey, an unlit Cuban cigar and The Far Side Gallery by Gary Larson. Failing that, anything cooked by my wife, but only on the condition that she could serve it to me too.

What is the most enjoyable part of your career?

Working with people who love what they do! All of our clients share that. We actually feel like we're part of their passion too.

What has been your biggest disappointment to date?

That I haven't won an Olympic gold in the 1,500 metres. Yet. Actually, I'm not very good at running and haven't run anywhere since I was about four, but a boy can dream!

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