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CRU in Conversation - Ian Nolan of The Doyle Collection
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CRU in Conversation - Ian Nolan of The Doyle Collection

We’re proud to supply coffee capsules in the guestrooms and suites of The Doyle Collection Hotel Group. The Doyle Collection is a family owned Irish business with 3 hotels throughout Ireland, 4 hotels in the UK and one in Washington DC. In total, there’s over 1600 bedrooms throughout the portfolio.

We spoke with Ian Nolan, Head of Restaurants and Bars at The Doyle Collection - he talks us through challenges in the hospitality industry during and post-covid, why sustainability is at the heart of their business, and the fine balance between maintaining a cosmopolitan yet timeless style.

Tell us a little more about the Doyle Collection, and what your role entails.

The Doyle Collection is an international group of family-owned luxury hotels with a proud Irish heritage. Each location is a central hub of its community - bursting with life, art and conversation. Located in vibrant city locations across Ireland, the UK and the US, and built on a strong foundation of seasoned hoteliers, The Doyle Collection has become synonymous with luxury, creativity, innovation and pure excellence throughout its 60-year history. 
Our entire food and beverage (F&B) outfit consists of 23 Bars and Restaurants, so most of my days are spent on the phone or in meetings with the management teams on the ground. In all our hotels we strive to deliver an exceptional customer journey through our F&B outlets - they are our shop windows, and where we have the chance to stretch our wings creatively on a regular basis. Our goal is to create destination venues to visit as well as exceptional places to eat and drink if staying in the hotel. The wider F&B team and I, alongside the central Marketing team are always in search of new, quality products so I'm happy that the later part of my days are usually spent with suppliers, both old and new. 

The global pandemic had a massive impact on the hospitality sector across the world. Could you shed some light on some of the challenges the hotels had to face? 

Where do I start? Covid was definitely a learning curve for me, which I am grateful for as we thankfully come out of what was a very difficult time for the industry as a whole. One of our restaurants in London opened and closed a total of 8 times in 2 years! Staffing was of course a challenge, but everyone really pulled together. I've never seen anything like it - the willingness to keep going, strive for success and the bounce-back mentality really showcased the dedication and loyalty to the brand. Our teams were delighted to welcome guests through the [ever opening and closing] doors.

We're big believers that challenges bring opportunities - as we enter the Covid 'recovery' period, what challenges and opportunities do you see for The Doyle Collection?  

The industry is attracting new people who have never worked in F&B before. We want to continue to strive to deliver best in class customer service - there’s a big focus on training for us – as well as career progression, upskilling, development programmes and post-graduate degrees,  which is a great attraction for new and prospective team members.

As for the hotels themselves, we’re always looking to see how we can elevate the spaces we currently have as well as how we can offer something new and exciting for our guests.

When explaining the importance of coffee, you say that it is the last touchpoint in the hotel. What are the main 3 things that you look for when choosing products such as coffee?

  1. Sustainability. The Doyle Collection is committed to ensuring that we operate in an ethical, socially conscious and sustainable manner. So it goes without saying that when looking for a partner, we’re looking for someone who supports planet friendly supply chains, like CRU Kafe.
  2. Quality. We are always on the lookout for the best, high quality products.
  3. Relationship with the supplier, and the background story. With CRU Kafe and their work with sustainable farmers from all over the world and numerous charities like the Galapagos Conservation Trust and Project Waterfall, it was clear there was more than just great coffee; there was a story behind the capsule.

With sustainability being at the forefront of all of The Doyle Collection's partnerships, what was it about CRU Kafe that made the difference and how important is having a great coffee offering across all areas of the hotel? 

Overall, the crema and quality of the coffee was standout. Sustainability is almost a necessity today - especially with new, upcoming brands. The quality was there with CRU Kafe and the sustainability credentials (Soil Association, Fairtrade, B Corp) made it a no brainer for us!



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