Acorn Award Winner 2023 - Hayleigh Mullen

Posted on Monday, July 10, 2023 by Sara MorenoNo comments

Welcome back to our 'Spotlight' series where we shine the light on some of the Industry’s Most Talented Stars aged under 30 announced at the Acorn Awards 2023

Today, our guest is Hayleigh Mullen, Restaurant Manager at the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel


  • Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Hayleigh Mullen I am the Restaurant Manager at iasg restaurant within Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel.

  • Where did you start your career at?

My best friend’s dad used to be the Executive Chef at Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel and he introduced me to a part-time waitressing job when I was 16. I wasn’t very good at the time(!) and was always put on floor walks to collect room service trays or polish cutlery at the back. Nonetheless, I stuck around, and after college two years later, I joined the Food & Beverage Reservations team before I upped sticks and went off travelling around Southeast Asia. After returning home, I did a brief stint in restaurants and bars around Glasgow, I re-joined iasg in my current role. 

  • What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

Believing in the work I do—motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. I like knowing that I’m appreciated, because I give every job my all, and I also like knowing that the work I’m doing is producing results and helping my team develop

  • What do you do in your current role?

I carry the mammoth responsibility of managing a team of forty while overseeing the day-to-day running of breakfast, lunch and dinner, iasg bar, semi-private dining as well as the reservations for each area.

  • What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?

I would be doing something in fashion, this has always been a passion of mine. I originally studied for this before falling in love with hospitality.

  • Who is your hero? Why?

My Dad, his work ethic, ambition and thoughtfulness inspires me to do better.

  • What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to try new things, take risks and put herself out there for opportunities. If things don't work out, ask yourself what lessons you can learn from it and put them towards something better.

  • How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?

Gone are the days of working for minimum wage and 70-hour weeks. Company’s recognise work life balance and push for this. I think we will see a change in sustainability with the sector already showing signs of development.

  • Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?

You will grow both professionally and in your personal life. This sector allows you the opportunity to show your creative side and meet diverse people. Most importantly the staff are always friendly, helpful and welcoming. Your colleagues become your second family and push you to develop your skill set.

  • Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?

I am a massive dog lover and have 2 beautiful doggies at home. I would love to spend a year travelling the world. My guilty pleasure is shopping for clothes, and I tend to buy all new items when going on holiday (just imagine how big my suitcase would need to be if I was travelling the world).


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