End of an era as Betty retires after more than 30 years at the New Continental Hotel…
BY | Elinor Eaton, Development Manager
From serving up afternoon tea and Sunday Roasts; to leading service on special occasions and silver serving international stars. Betty has been the Queen of hospitality at the New Continental Hotel Plymouth since the 80’s.
You ask anyone that knows Betty and they will tell you that for as long as they can remember, she has been a part of the fabric of Plymouth’s hospitality trade and community. Feeding and watering thousands upon thousands of guests’ at the New Continental Hotel hasn’t been a ‘job’ for Betty; it has been part of her very being and aside from her family, one of her biggest of passions.
The Day Has Come…
But this August, at the young age of 80, Betty is shelving her piny to embark on a well-earned retirement.
The decades haven’t all been about business for Betty though; many customers are now lifelong friends. Not least because everything that Betty has ever done has been about the experiences had by those she has served. She has always had a truly genuine desire to make customers happy and at home in Britain’s Ocean City.
Betty has been involved in hundreds of charity events over the years. From Charitable Dinner & Dances to serving at functions for under-privileged children and, on occasion, ensuring the very best of times has been had by donning a fancy dress outfit for a themed party night or two! Of course we cannot forget her infamous Mother Christmas costume. Every year Betty is in charge of ensuring little ones have the most magical Christmas at the New Continental Hotel.
It’s A Sad Day…
Bobbie Hajiyianni, Director at the New Continental Hotel explains what an asset Betty has been to hospitality in Plymouth:
“One of the greatest pleasures for me as the Director of the New Continental Hotel is our wonderful workforce. They are by far the biggest asset not only to my hotel, but for our city. Every member of staff gives 110% in a very testing sector. I feel so fortunate to have them not only as part of my team, but grateful for their passion and enthusiasm.”
Betty is no exception to the New Continental Hotels passionate team; she along with so many others is a constant engine of passion; ignited by the desire to ensure all of the hotels guests’ have the best experiences. That they are all truly looked after and cared for.
Hospitality In Plymouth…
Bobbie continues: “When my Father & Mother bought the hotel in 1984, I’m sure they could only have dreamt that 35 years on, we would still be employing staff that shared their ethos and passion for hospitality.”
Betty is not only an exceptional member of staff and family friend at the hotel, but has proved herself to be an exceptional human being, with an integrity of character that is beyond reproach. Bobbie adds: “She has certainly helped put Plymouth on the map! I have no doubt that her footprint will be felt for years to come. Betty has been able to truly make a real difference to our guests stays, and for that our entire family will be eternally grateful.”
As Plymouth canters in to 2020, tourism and hospitality will continue to be a key driver in how our city is seen by those that visit during the Mayflower 400 celebrations and beyond. In a rich and valuable sector, it is facing an ever-increasing labour shortage crisis:
“Betty is not one to be selfish with her time or indeed work in a silo. Her passion has always been contagious. Joining us with her many years of experience and knowledge, she instantly began to share her skills and passion with our teams. Betty has a gift for challenging ways of thinking; requiring us all to explore different, new and improved practices to ensure our customers are always happy and that we always strive to do better.”
A Local Hero…
Like so many in Plymouth’s Hospitality sector, the training and mentoring of younger staff has a huge amount to do with not only amazing settings like City College Plymouth, but also the people that are already in the midst of the industry.
“Betty has trained and mentored hundreds of people within the sector over the years, perhaps even thousands. Her true legacy will be what she has given to those that she has taught and inspired.
If ever there was a local hero who exemplified the highest standards of professionalism and passion within Plymouth’s hospitality sector, it’s Betty Davis. She can recite with pride the riches that Plymouth has to offer, and knows the names of all the wonderful people that have stayed with us over the years. That’s because for over 30 years she’s cared; she has been proud of Plymouth and delighted to show our city off to those visiting.
She will be missed; but she will never be forgotten by anyone she has worked with, trained or served.”