Meet Dimitris Niaris, Meeting & Events Manager at one of our independent hotels within Nordic Hotels & Resorts. Dimitris has been working at the hotel right from the start when it opened five years ago and has had numerous roles during his time there. When not at work, he loves spending time in his home country Greece!
So tell me, what are you doing at Strawberry?
I work at Hotel At Six and take care of all the events here at the hotel including private dinners and big conferences with 200 people. I basically take care of guests all day long with my team of ten people. We make sure that everything is running perfectly, and that the guests are happy and having a good experience at the hotel!
How did you end up in that role? Tell us your story!
Five years ago, I was running my own restaurant in Greece and I invested a lot of money in that. Before that, I had spent 17 years in the hotel industry, so I decided to pursue that career path again. Then I saw on Facebook that At Six was opening and that Henrik Jakobsen, one of my mentors, was Food & Beverage Director - and I loved the concept straight away! After reading about Petter Stordalen, I realised that he is not just a regular founder - he’s got so much character! So, I got in touch with Henrik and that’s how my journey started.
I was recruited to the pre-opening team, so was responsible for planning the concept two months before the hotel opened. First I was Supervisor of Room Service before taking on the Breakfast Supervisor role just four days later. Two months after that I started working with conferences as Food & Beverage Supervisor. As I was supporting the bars, restaurants and our rooftop Stockholm Under Stjärnorna, they created a completely new role for me. As Food & Beverage Project Manager I was able to be involved in every project at the hotel wherever I was needed, such as creating a new menu or bar! I am passionate about events, so when the opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance and took on the role of Meeting & Events Manager!
My dream is to become Food & Beverage Director at At Six or another hotel within Strawberry.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting a similar role?
To be a good leader, I believe you really need to lead by example. That includes taking out the trash just like your team members, and treating guests the same way you would like to be treated. You also need to be prepared for the unexpected. No event is ever the same - and every guest is different. Things can take an unexpected turn, so you need to be flexible and solution-oriented. If you know your space and your organisation, you’re sure to find the answer!
“When you work with events you have to be prepared for the unexpected. No event is the same, every guest is different.”
What is the best thing about working at Strawberry?
It’s nothing like working for a regular hotel chain. We still follow all the standards, but we have more fun. It’s not so strict and serious. Our style is more contemporary with relaxed clothing guidelines and stuff like that. People are free to express themselves!
How is the company culture?
It’s all about being bold yet humble, and having the right energy and attitude towards the guests. We have fun! There are a lot more young people working here compared to other hotel chains, so it’s no problem if you don’t have the experience. There’s plenty of opportunity to learn and grow!
If I had to describe a person working at Strawberry in three words, I would say smiley, energetic and outgoing.
What makes Strawberry the best employer in the industry?
Our big conference VK is one thing that every employee looks forward to each year. Also, that we have the freedom to be ourselves and show our personalities. We are allowed to express our different styles in the menus, the way we dress and the services we provide. That’s very unique compared to other hotel chains in Sweden. I also like that all new hotels are given more and more freedom to develop their own styles and concepts.
What are you passionate about?
I love my home country Greece and the culture. I love spending time there during the summers. I also love my family, friends, and basketball!