CODE's Employee of the Month for September is Conor Knowles, Bar Manager at Manchester institution Cottonopolis
When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?
I was working in bars during my final year of University to help pay my way and I never thought it would be a career for me. After graduating I progressively moved on to better bars and pretty much forgot about my degree. It was just a brief moment when I realised that I hadn't done anything with my media degree and had focused more on bar work. I realised that I was enjoying bartending a lot more than I would be working in media so decided to stick with it.
Why did you want to work for Cottonopolis?
I was working in a few bars here and there but never settled anywhere that I loved. I had always admired what Cottonopolis had been doing, the menus were inventive, out there and something that I hadn't been exposed to in the past. The previous menu before this, the Idioms menu looked amazing and had been nominated for a couple awards at Imbibe and being able to work here was definitely a step in the right direction for me. I knew I would learn so much and progress well so it didn't take much convincing.
Who inspires you?
The people that inspire me are people who are trying something different in the hospitality world but also who have a genuine passion for this industry. I see myself as one of those people but there is always space to learn and improve. There are a lot of people in this city who inspire me: Gethin Jones, our Operations Manager at Cottonopolis; he's the brain child of our menus and his ideas are crazy, but they work and some great concepts and drinks come out of that. Adam Day, the Bar Manager at Wilderness has always delivered great drinks and great customer service, he's always welcoming in his bars and has travelled the world with cocktail competitions putting Manchester on the map. Finally, the Schofield Brothers, Joe and Dan. They are award-winning, internationally renowned bartenders and the fact that they have decided to open their bar in Manchester and not London or anywhere else in the world is something to admire. They're proud of this city and where they have come from and are going to move Manchester up another echelon.
What is your desert island dish?
I make a banging vegan Mushroom Stroganoff and I'd have to choose that.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
If I can travel the world doing this job, that would be amazing. If in five years’ time, I'm going to some mad countries making drinks I'd be buzzing.
What is your favourite offer on the CODE app?
I mainly use CODE app for food, lots of cool places have great deals on. Probably Evelyn's ranks highest for me, great food consistently and a great bit of discount. Or go half price bowling at All Star Lanes.
If you have a colleague going above and beyond their call of duty, send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.