‘Hotel Hero’ nominee, Nikolaos Dimou, gets full-time job at Malmaison
Nikolaos Dimou discovered his passion for the hospitality industry at the age of 16, when he got his first job as a waiter.
Originally from Greece, Nikolaos, who was nominated for Hotel Hero late last year, studied computer science at university but in between that, found a job as a waiter in a cafe, where he remained for four years, before joining the army.
“I was keen on the special forces and went down that route, initially. After five months of training I graduated from military school, earning a 2nd Lieutenant Grade and started to train new soldiers, leading a team of 25 on training missions. It was truly a memorable experience.”
When Nikolaos left the army, he worked as a waiter and bar assistant in Chalkidiki, Greece, for the summer.
“It was one of the most luxurious beach bars in northern Greece and a number of celebrities visit every summer. It was probably one of the busiest places I have ever worked in, with more than 3000 people visiting us every day that summer.”
At the end of summer Nikolaos had several offers in Greece and decided to work at a renowned cafe in Thessaloniki. The owner of the cafe was so impressed with his work that he offered him a job in one of the most popular clubs in the city.
After his stint in Thessaloniki, Nikolaos moved to the UK and found a job in another little cafe where he said he learnt a lot about British culture and food. He also enrolled on a course at Leeds City College as he wanted to pursue a career in hospitality.
“Leaving my family was not easy and it was a big step for me but it was a risk that I was willing to take to progress and achieve my goals.”
During his time at college, Nikolaos got the opportunity to work at Harewood Mansion for Christmas.
“It was a great experience and also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. I got great feedback from the event manager and Lord Harewood himself.”
He went on to work at Printworks Kitchen & Bar, as bartender and waiter, a job he says gave him more insight and experience about the hospitality industry. It was at this point that he realised that he wanted to work in hotels.
“With the help of my tutor, Anne-Marie Canham, and the college I got a job at Malmaison. However, the pandemic hit and meant that everything was closed.”
During lockdown, he signed up for the Spirits course and attained his Level 1 Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certificate.
“When we reopened I was one of the first people who were asked to return to work and I was happy to. After a few months I applied for a supervisor role at Malmaison and got the job and, now, I am one step closer to my dream job.
“Despite going through another lockdown I have been lucky enough to work nights as a Duty Manager, and I am continually learning new things.”
Nikolaos is now looking at taking on a Level 3 Supervision and Leadership Apprenticeship in Hospitality.