Niall Rochford, the general manager at Ashford Castle, told 100 delegates consisting of hoteliers, restaurateurs, chefs, catering managers and state agencies, last week about the high calibre of WIT graduates at the inaugural 2016 Hospitality Graduate Entrepreneur Forum.
The event was organised by WIT lecturer Jacinta Greene Beatty, who felt it was the perfect time to look back at and celebrate their graduates successes.
Rochford gave an insightful presentation on what it takes to run a world-renowned five star resort, highlighting the importance of proper training, having passionate hard working staff with a sincere service, and giving customers those tiny noticeable touches that they appreciate.
He said that the selection process WIT employees with their BA in Hospitality Management (Level 8) and Diploma in Restaurant Management (Level 7) programmes gives their students an X-Factor like no others. Eva Milka, a 2011 graduate from the Restaurant Management programme and winner of the Arthur Guinness Project, used her training to set up Gaelic Escargot, a free-range snail farm while also giving weekly seminars on this type of farm diversification.
Audrea Hassett who graduated from Professional Cookery encouraged students at the event to consider the entrepreneur road after her success with Tastefully Yours, a chutney, relish and pickle business. Ade Walsh the proprietor of Kilkieran Cottage Restaurant espoused her relationship with WIT and how she can still pick up the phone to ask them for help years after graduating.