5 minutes with CIC’s Operations Director, Howard Thomas

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Howard Thomas lets us know how he's getting on in his new role

At the end of last year, we announced that we were strengthening the CIC management team with the appointment of Howard Thomas as Operations Director.

Bringing a wealth of industry experience and contacts with him, Howard now heads up our Northern Office while overseeing UK-wide operations. After a couple of months in his role, we caught up with Howard to find out how he is getting on, and his thoughts for the leisure and hospitality industry:

Welcome to CIC! Can you tell us what you are most looking forward to working on with the company?

CIC has a wealth of clients both in and out of the leisure, license, and hospitality industries, I suppose I am most looking forward to working with new clients that come to the business and working with the very experienced staff who are in place here.

You have a strong background in design and building within the hospitality sector, what part of this experience are you most keen to implement within CIC?

I have always been passionate about the design side of the industry; it is hugely satisfying to come up with a concept and see it through to completion and working with CIC is set to offer me a wealth of design opportunities.

With many hospitality businesses closed until April, can you provide an update on what clients within the sector have been doing to prepare for re-opening? i.e. has there been an investment in refurbishments?

Most clients have been thinking about their external areas, making the most of every square foot that they have. They are looking at weatherproofing areas with lights and heaters so that there is more diversity in the alfresco experience.

There is set to be an increased focus on ‘localism’ once restrictions are lifted – with communities favouring their local pubs and restaurants. How can the industry prepare itself for this now?

The most important thing to consider is what the local community actually wants. Recently, we have seen a shift into more of a focus on sports again, football teams, darts teams, pool teams, and family rooms which is all great news for your local. It’s important that these establishments talk to their local communities to understand their demands, so they can cater to them and deliver a positive environment for all.

Marston’s has recently announced that it is hitting environmental milestones. As there is set to be a growing awareness on a green recovery do you think the hospitality sector will factor this into refurbishment plans moving forward?

I believe the shift is already in place, there are LED lamps, loft insulation, external light timers, sensors for toilet lights and communal areas, draft excluding and lots of other energy-efficient implementations are already in place and this will continue.