Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

The Rise of a Hospitality Legend: Lucy Francomb

Seventeen years ago, when Lucy Barwell (then Francomb) walked into Babington House in her home county of Somerset, she had no idea she was embarking on a journey that would transform UK hospitality. With her natural enthusiasm and dedication to hard work, Lucy started as a waitress at the Private Members club, quickly realizing that this was her true vocation. Her popularity among staff and members soon caught the attention of Soho House’s founder, Nick Jones. At just 27 years old, she was appointed General Manager of the flagship Mayfair establishment, Little House. This was a ‘sink or swim’ career moment where Lucy excelled, enhancing her reputation within London’s thriving Members Club sector. By 2017, she was leading The Ned’s membership team as its doors opened to great acclaim. As Global Club Director, Lucy has overseen a plethora of high-profile events in London, the Middle East, and New York. Despite the glamour, Lucy is most proud of the relationships she has built and the staff she has developed throughout her remarkable career.

How did you begin your career in hospitality?

I began as a waitress in The Electric on Portobello Road, completely by mistake. I had no idea what Soho House was at the time. I went in for a trial shift, and by the end of the day, they offered me a job. It was an unexpected start, but it turned out to be the beginning of an incredible journey in hospitality.

What was your initial position at Babington House, and how did you approach your job? 

My initial position at Babington House was as the Restaurant Manager and Duty Manager of the hotel. I approached my job with a lot of enthusiasm and a strong work ethic, always eager to learn and improve. I quickly realized that this environment was where I thrived and felt a deep connection to the hospitality industry. My goal was to provide the best possible experience for our guests while supporting and motivating my team.

Who took notice of your popularity and dedication at Soho House, and what opportunity did this lead to?

My line managers were the first to notice my popularity and dedication. I loved my job so much and thrived on the energy and interaction with other people. Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House, played a significant role in my career growth. His support and belief in my abilities led to incredible opportunities, including my appointment as General Manager of Little House in Mayfair.

At what age did you become the General Manager of Little House in Mayfair?

I became the General Manager of Little House in Mayfair at the age of 27. It was a pivotal moment in my career, and I felt both excited and challenged by the responsibility. This role allowed me to showcase my skills and further establish my reputation within the hospitality industry. The experience was invaluable in shaping my future career path and leadership style.

How did your career progress after your success at Little House?

After my success at Little House, I left to help open The Ned. This was another major step in my career, and I was eager to take on the new challenge. The opportunity to be involved from the ground up in such a significant project was incredibly rewarding. It allowed me to apply my experience and knowledge to build something truly special and innovative.

What role did you take on at The Ned in 2017, and what was significant about this position?

In 2017, I took on the role of overseeing the membership team at The Ned. I was responsible for finding 1500 founder members, which was a significant challenge because The Ned didn’t exist yet. I had a year before we opened to show people what The Ned was going to become. Opening The Ned with 1500 members and setting up the membership department was an amazing achievement and a testament to our vision and hard work.

As Global Club Director, what types of events and functions have you overseen?

As Global Club Director, I have overseen a wide variety of events, ranging from fashion shows and music events to internal and external members’ functions. Each event required meticulous planning and coordination to ensure they were executed flawlessly. These events have showcased our ability to host high-profile and memorable experiences for our members. The diversity and scale of the events have been both challenging and rewarding, reflecting the dynamic nature of our club’s offerings.

In which cities have you managed high-profile events and functions?

I have managed high-profile events and functions in several major cities, including New York, various locations across Europe, and the UK. Each city presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. These experiences have broadened my perspective and enhanced my ability to adapt to different cultural and logistical environments. Working in such diverse locations has been a highlight of my career, allowing me to connect with a global network of members and professionals.

What aspect of your career do you find most fulfilling?

The most fulfilling aspect of my career has been building relationships with staff, members, and their guests. I take great pride in watching my team grow and develop into amazing individuals. Being a part of their journey and supporting their professional growth has been incredibly rewarding. The connections and bonds formed over the years have been a source of joy and motivation for me.

How have you contributed to the development of staff throughout your career in hospitality?

I have always prioritized kindness and leading by example in the development of my staff. I believe in showing them that I am willing to do anything I ask of them, creating a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. My approach emphasizes that, in the work environment, we are all the same, with the only difference being our level of experience. This philosophy has helped create a supportive and empowering atmosphere where staff feel valued and motivated to excel.

Did you enjoy this article and find it helpful? Why not share it with your social media network below?

Global Woman magazine is a media platform to highlight success stories of women around the world and give them the space to express themselves. We have a team of professional journalists who conduct interviews and coordinate different articles with global experts in different areas and backgrounds. If you are interested to collaborate please click here to fill the form or email at [email protected].