Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
4:17 PM 30th November 2022

10 in 10: Grant Dexter

Grant Dexter, Managing Director of Escapism Bar Group, is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as we give him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.

What does a typical working day for you involve?

I start my day with a walk into the office, picking up a flat white on the way – I don’t function without coffee in the morning! I’m in the office earlier than most as I drop off my little girl Lily at nursery on the way in, but this allows me to say hello to the team as they arrive to start their day which I always feel is important.

Most of my days are spent working with the team, coaching and mentoring them in different areas of the business. Of course, there are other aspects of the business I dedicate time towards, such as managing commercials to make sure we are as financially lean as possible. But my main focus is marketing and sales as these areas generate the revenue growth we have targeted – key to the continual organic growth of our business.

Grant Dexter
Grant Dexter
What makes your company special?

It’s the people, 100%. Without them we wouldn’t be the business we are! Our values were there right from the start when Mel and Phil first started the business, and over the past few years we’ve been able to really amplify that. We’ve added fantastic learning and development programmes, giving our people the chance to join our barback to boardroom initiative.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?

Don’t mess up your work/life balance. For me, having a positive, forward-thinking mindset comes from the balance I have between work and home life and it’s something I remind my team of whenever necessary.

Do you dress up or down for work?

Definitely a dress down situation for me: jeans, trainers and a t-shirt. We allow our teams to show their individuality and wear whatever they feel comfortable in. The only exception to that is if it causes a health and safety concern i.e. wearing flips flops whilst working in the bar, but that rarely ever happens.

What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Be open to change! In previous jobs, I was brought through the ranks being told to do things a certain way and never to challenge the norm. Even when the business wasn’t performing, I was told to stick to the rules. Looking back, I can see how foolish this was. Hospitality is such a fast-paced environment with customer trends constantly evolving. You need to be able to adapt to stay ahead of the curve.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?

I’d say the two I’ve enjoyed the most were Go Ape and our Christmas event at The Adelphi. Go Ape was great, I especially loved seeing the team support each other to conquer their fears. Myself included – I made my way through all the tree top challenges with jelly legs. Last year’s Christmas event at The Adelphi was great too. The food and drinks were fantastic and the team at the venue made the day so enjoyable, to the extent that we’ve booked with them again this year. We’re now on our third year with them.

How do you prefer to travel for business?

I drive from home to nursery and then park the car a 15-minute walk from work so I can start and end my day with time to plan and reflect. This allows me to put things in place mentally before or after work and go home focusing on the family.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?

For us recently it’s been Knaresborough. We’ve spent a lot of time there with Lily and she loves it. Walks along the River Nidd into Knaresborough, feeding the ducks at the café and staying over at the Lido makes for a lovely weekend.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?

Having a toddler means we don’t get the chance to eat out much and sometimes a fish & chip Friday is just what we need after a busy week. Shadwell Village Fish Shop is the place, and at almost 50 years old and a family run business it’s my sort of place. The quality is outstanding as well as the service that Mark, Danny and the team offer. It’s the little things like knowing your order before you walk in or asking how the family are whilst you’re waiting. We will always be a regular customer.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you’re away?

Definitely the scenery. We love spending time walking and taking in the scenic views. There are some beautiful places in Yorkshire and probably many we have yet to explore.