At Your Service
Genre Factual Entertainment
Format 8 x 30
Hotel experts Francis and John Brennan are on a mission to restore the fortunes of hospitality businesses all around Ireland. The enigmatic brothers own and run the prestigious five star Park Hotel Kenmare, Co Kerry. They use their expertise to help all manner of struggling businesses, including B&B’s, guesthouses, hotels, hostels, campsites and castles!
No of Series 12 series
Joe Whelan has left behind the city and a high-flying career in financial services to embrace a very different life in the countryside. He’s bought a farm in Co Wicklow where he’s set up a new alpaca trekking business. He’s also in the process of renovating old farm buildings to create 7 self-catering holiday cottages. However, with no background in hospitality he badly needs the Brennan’s expertise to keep his new business venture on the right track. This proves a difficult journey – Joe faces many obstacles including serious health concerns both for himself and his alpacas, major building delays, challenging financial issues, and, of course, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For years Henry Hunt and Lorraine Casey have dreamed of making much-needed improvements to the Smuggler’s Inn, which has been in Henry’s family for generations. But despite commissioning extensive and expensive plans over the years they have never been able to realise their ambitions. Time and money are issues - a chef by trade, Henry is running a leased café nearby during the day and then cooking in the Smuggler’s restaurant late into the night. Henry and Lorraine also have to care for their new baby daughter. They’re exhausted and badly need the Brennan’s advice to find a better work-life balance and to make their dream of a modern, fit-for-purpose business come true.
DUNMORE EAST HOLIDAY AND GOLF RESORT
Alan and Grace Skehan own a busy holiday resort where they’re constantly running and racing as they manage their large mobile home park, self-catering houses, a nine-hole golf course and a restaurant and bar. The couple find managing the restaurant and bar particularly overwhelming and the Brennans want to find solutions to run the place more efficiently. Despite their workload Alan and Grace think big and want the Brennan’s advice about their ambitious plan to build luxury lodges and to extend the resort further. However, securing planning for the lodges in the midst of a pandemic proves to be a very difficult, slow and challenging process.
Builder and developer Pat Boyle, his Chicago-based businessman cousin Kevin Boyle and local hotel manager Martina Rafferty have called in the Brennans to help bring Sweeney’s Hotel on Dungloe’s Main Street back to life. The hotel was once the heart of the local community but has lain disused for years. Armed with a budget of €2.2m, the dream is to rebuild the hotel and to breathe life back into the centre of the town. They want the Brennan’s expert advice as they plan to reinvigorate the old buildings with 18 boutique-style bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, function room, a central courtyard for entertaining and an artisan bakery and café. However, the best laid plans face many challenges – including a global pandemic ...
IRISH MILITARY MUSEUM
John and Francis are back for a brand-new series and are ready for battle. Ten years after their first challenge, they help transform a café and a bed and breakfast at the Irish Military Museum in Starinagh, County Meath. From a childhood collection, William’s obsession with all things war has built itself into a popular museum. But, with growing numbers of visitors there is nowhere for them to eat or sleep so a plan of action needs to be drawn up
The Brennan brothers face their toughest challenge yet, as they head to Carrick Camping in Carrick on Shannon. This run-down site is calling out for a complete overhaul and all of John and Francis’s expertise will be needed if it’s going to be put back on the map – or on the map in the first place! Claire and Jim have lost their motivation since buying the camp site in a year of storms and floods. Will the Brennan brothers save this place from being a total wash out?
This week the Brennan’s are spooked by what they find at Loftus Hall, in the stunning hook peninsula of County Wexford. With over 670 years of history and heritage it’s no wonder this place is in need of Francis and John’s help. Although the ghost tours are chilling visitors in a good way, the café leaves them stone cold in a bad way. Along with the gardens and proposed glamping site, the Brennans will have their work cut out not to frighten owner Adrian and his family with their plan.
John and Francis have an uphill battle in Kilfenora, County Clare as they struggle to turn a run-down hostel into a boutique bed and breakfast. Having been in the family for over 300 years the pressure is on the younger generation of Orla and Mark to keep business going. Their pub is doing well but the hostel is on the verge of collapse. Can John and Francis work their magic and save it?
The Brennans have their bags packed for Limerick this week, to meet Denise and Peter who have a one-million-euro budget to transform Limerick Travel into a three-tier business, adding a 12-bedroom townhouse and a coffee shop. With no experience in hospitality the boys are going to have their work cut out because construction work is already under way. They will want changes but will Denise and Peter want to listen?
Dame Emily Naper owns Loughcrew Estate in County Meath, which covers over 200 acres of land. She needs the estate to start making money and wants to hire it out as a wedding venue. But the current function rooms are dated and in desperate need of attention. The masters of creativity and business, John and Francis head down the aisle to give their help. The Dame has a wealth of ideas but has no idea of what to do with them.
Mike’s family have owned Tracey’s shop in Limerick for generations. But times are tough and Mike and his wife Sheelagh are in the position of either closing down for good or using every last penny they have to turn the business around. John and Francis need to act quickly if they are going to save this place, and it’s not going to be easy. Wanting to spilt the current shop and create a separate café, Mike and Sheelagh have big ideas, but very little money.
John and Francis end this current series with a sunny trip to County Clare, where a huge challenge awaits them. Lough Lannagh Holiday Village needs an overhaul and owners Gerardine and Paul have no idea which way to turn. With hotel rooms, self-catering cottages, business function rooms and a huge dining area needing a radical facelift, the Brennans only have a short window to come up with a plan, so the couple can open again for the summer season. With a trip to Germany planned for Gerardine and Paul, the Brennans are pulling out all the stop to be At Your Service.
Jenny Kiersey and her family run very tired looking tearooms in Kilmacthomas.. The opening of the Waterford Greenway means there’s huge potential for new customers and the Brennans recommend a total revamp. The Kiersey’s also have grand plans to build a self-catering holiday house. But relying on the family to get the building work done leads to delays, and a sudden influx of Greenway tourists means the whole project stalls ....
Carrick Court Hotel
Eileen and her husband Keith have a million pound budget but even that isn’t enough for them to re-open a hotel that’s been under wraps for years. Building regulations mean delay after delay and a whole heap of unexpected trauma, costs and problems. But even when the Brennans suggest roping in their ambitions, Eileen and Keith are determined to do things their way – whatever the cost...
Jonathan and Martin are childhood friends who decide to buy and revamp a local pub that’s been closed for years. They dream of recreating the pub they used to visit as young adults and have fond memories of what was once a thriving business. They want to open a bar and restaurant fit for the future. But dreams can be expensive and the Brennans are extremely worried about their total lack of experience in the trade. And then the derelict building throws up unexpected and costly problems that badly delays any progress...
The all-too-familiar story of a family of artists and historians who gamely bought a country house but are now struggling to make ends meet and to keep their historic roof over their heads. They decide to go into business by converting a stable room into a tearoom. But this is a totally new venture for the family - can the Brennans turn these creatives into a commercial success?
Sandy Feet Farm
Eleanor and Roy have been running a mobile home park in Camp, Co Kerry for the last 10 years and now have ambitions to expand the business by creating a petting zoo and café. But they have no experience in the hospitality game and the Brennans need to give them a crash course in the trade.
Caroline’s dream is to give up her day job in catering in Dublin and to make her struggling hostel in rural Ireland a success. But the place needs a huge makeover and Francis Brennan says it’s the worst first impression to a hospitality business he’s ever seen. The place looks like a tip and Caroline starts by ordering a fleet of skips for the rubbish, and car crusher for the wrecks in the driveway!
The Spa Wells should be a major tourist attraction in Lisdoonvarna but this historic spa has been under wraps and neglected for years. Now Lisdoonvarna Failte, a community trust, wants to bring the place back to life. The spa itself would cost millions to restore, but the pump house and function hall on the site could be open and making money from tourists. Francis recommends opening a café on site, but what should have been a simple venture proves difficult ...
Dunmurry Springs Golf Club
Simon’s family farmed their land for generations but recently the farmland has been used to create a golf course. The pressure is on for this new venture to be profitable. Simon is determined to increase revenue by finding new uses for the facilities. Francis suggests renovating an underused storage room and renting it out as a sports clinic. He also recommends Simon create self-catering apartments in the unused 2nd floor of the building. But finding takers to rent proves challenging and a long wait for planning permission delays the apartment development...
Killarney View House, Killarney, Co Kerry
How do the Brennans shift this guesthouse and Mary Guerin, its characterful owner, from the bottom of the online ratings? And how will she cope once her son leaves to work abroad? Mary admits she’s old school and she’s reluctant to engage with online reviews. But, with bad reviews meaning bad business, can the Brennnans persuade her that she has to move with the times?
Burtown House & Gardens, Athy, Co. Kildare
James and Joanna Fennell own and run the historic Burtown House & Gardens near Athy in County Kildare. They already manage a small café in the grounds – now they’ve called in the Brennans to help with their ambitious plans to open a 100 seater restaurant, the Green Barn. But James and Joanna’s lack of experience seriously worries the Brennans – especially when they invite over 100 paying guests to their first night dinner and the place hasn’t even been finished...
Grange Country House, Fethard On Sea, Co Wexford
35 year old Finola Foley is a Kinesiologist and yoga instructor who, as well as running her therapy business, manages a small bar and tearoom in her parent’s house. She also volunteers for the Fethard On Sea inshore RNLI. Despite her busy schedule, she plans to open 4 new B&B rooms in her family home. But she’s a technophobe - can the Brennans persuade her to embrace modern technology and create a business fit for the 21st century?
Crookedwood House, nr Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Bonnie and Martin Bellamy moved with their family from London last year after buying Crookedwood House near Mullingar. Bonnie and Martin bought the property for its 10 organic acres, where they originally planned to simply grow their own food and raise some chickens. But the house came with a large disused restaurant and 8 B&B rooms, which have been closed for over a decade. Bonnie and Martin have absolutely no hospitality experience - and no idea what to do with the place. Time to call in the Brennans...
Wolfe Tones na Sionna GAA Club, Shannon, Co Clare
This year (2017) is the 50th anniversary of the Wolfe Tones na Sionna GAA Club – and it needs to get ready for its celebrations. However, the club buildings aren’t in great shape and the Brennans have been called in to flex their hospitality muscles. They suggest a major makeover to make sure the club is ready for its next 50 years. The club take on their advice but put themselves under immense pressure as they decide to keep the place open and try to do everything in just 2 weeks.
Waterside Guesthouse & Restaurant, Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny
Over recent years Brian and Brigid Roberts have struggled against catastrophic difficulties, including the recession and severe flooding which nearly sank their business. They are now almost ready to give up on their riverside restaurant and guest rooms. The Brennans want to restore their faith in their business and revitalise their fortunes – but rowing fanatic Brian has his own ideas about the best course to steer...
Portree House, Waterford City
36 year old Ciaran McMahon has taken on his very first business but finds it has a serious identity crisis – is it a guesthouse or hostel? There are a mix of rooms of all standards, shapes and sizes. What they have in common is that all need a major overhaul, but Ciaran has a very limited budget and is struggling to find workers to help. This is Ciaran’s dream, but he needs the Brennans help to stop it becoming a nightmare ... Can they make Portree “the place to be”?
Ted’s Bar, Cashel, Achill Island, Co Mayo
Former teachers Maeve and Darren have recently taken over Maeve’s father’s rural business. The Brennans advise them to use a section of their pub as small café, update their derelict self-catering apartment and find new function room business. However, Maeve and Darren decide to big up the Brennans advice by opening a large café in their function room. But it proves a monumental task that leaves them close to breaking point.
CAROLINE WORKMAN, SELF-CATERING COTTAGES Dunany Townland, Co Louth
Brand new series presented by 5 star hotel expert Francis Brennan who’s tackling another diverse portfolio of struggling hospitality businesses. This week he’s helping Caroline Workman who’s keen to create a new holiday rentals business in the grounds of her family’s country house. Caroline makes ends meet by selling her homemade bread and cakes at Drogheda’s weekly market. But by renovating her cottages she hopes to create a much-needed new source of income. However, the pressure is on as the cottages must be ready in time for a family wedding and, although she has has bags of enthusiasm, she’s sadly lacking in business experience.
MC CARTHY’S PUB, RESTAURANT & UNDERTAKER Fethard, Co Tipperary
We’ll wine you, dine you and bury you” is McCarthy’s slogan and it’s a first for 5 star hotel expert Francis Brennan as he’s challenged to breathe new life into a funeral home. Vincent Murphy is the 5th generation of undertakers in his family and he knows his premises are unacceptable for his clients - both dead and alive. He’s got a shoddy coffin store, a cold, dull restaurant and a funeral home that hasn’t been redecorated for years. Francis is called in to help and the results are at times startling!
CURRAGHCHASE CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK Kilcornan, Co Limerick
Glamping expert John Brennan returns to At Your Service in this week’s episode when he’s called in by his brother Francis to help a novice caravan park owner. 29 year old Warren Higgins has taken on a nerve-wracking project which involves reopening a disused caravan and camping park. He’s got a business plan – but after discussion with John finds it needs a speedy rethink. And that’s not the only rush – the park has to open for the vital summer season, but after 4 years under wraps there’s a ton of work to complete before it’ll be in any way ready for happy campers.
NUALA’s Tuamgraney, Scariff, Co Clare
Nuala and Paul Kilkenny have owned their bar and restaurant business for 17 years but it’s looking very outdated and is now well overdue a Brennan business overhaul. The whole place needs a rebrand – everything from the original name, Teach Uí Bhriain, to the dull 55 seater restaurant, cluttered pub and neglected apartment above. But Nuala and Paul are determined to make all the changes without ever closing their doors to their customers - resulting in all-night building stints and frayed nerves.
HAZELWOOD LODGE Ballyvaughan, Co.Clare
It’s a family affair for Francis Brennan this week as he’s called in to help with not one, but two, new business ventures. Victor and Geraldine Mc Sweeney have bought a 9 bedroom disused guesthouse near Ballyvaughan. Their daughter Lesley, her partner Darren (and their baby Liv) have taken out a lease on tea rooms in the centre of the village. The guesthouse needs a total revamp but with so much going on can the Mc Sweeneys meet Francis’s strict 10-week deadline before opening?
BLUESTACK COMMUNITY CENTRE & HOSTEL Drimarone (nr. Donegal Town), Co.Donegal
The Bluestack Centre really is at the heart of this rural community and offers everything from bingo sessions to jiving nights. But their real moneyspinner should be the Centre’s 28 bed hostel which, despite its pristine condition, is getting very few bookings. Francis Brennan has been called in to come up with a strategy to fill beds and get the Bluestack Centre earning its keep.
TWIN TREES HOTEL Ballina, Co Mayo
The Twin Trees Hotel (formerly known as the Downhill House Hotel) has been bought out of receivership and needs to entice back the business it once attracted. But owners Rachael and David are working almost round the clock to keep this 55 room hotel running. They need direction from Francis Brennan on how to focus their energies and turn around the hotel’s fortunes. Luckily, love is in the air!
OLD MONASTERY HOSTEL Letterfrack, Co Galway
A 50 metre long washing dryer is just one of the many intriguing finds for Francis when he’s challenged to help an eco-friendly hostel in the remote Connemara area of County Galway. Running the hostel is the dream of one-time traveller and local man Stephen Gannon, who’s owned the hostel for the last 25 years. He’s proud of his ecologically self-sufficient business but his love of recycling means that the place now resembles a junkyard! What will five star Francis think?
BALLYHANNON HOUSE RIDING SCHOOL, QUIN, CO CLARE
Brand new series presented by hotel experts John and Francis Brennan who own and run the 5 star Park Hotel Kenmare. In tonight’s programme the Brennans are in unfamiliar equine territory. Johnny Hassett is owner, manager and trainer at the Ballyhannon House Riding School in Quin, Co Clare. Johnny’s keen to diversify and find new ways to boost his business. The Brennans have to find ideas for Johnny that make the most of his facilities, which include stables, a disused hayloft and an intriguing gazebo in the garden. Francis takes an adventurous trek on horseback to the local pub, whilst John and Johnny visit the Goresbridge Horse Sales to sell Valerie, a thoroughbred filly to raise cash for much needed renovations.
McGARRIGLE’S RESTAURANT, BUNDORAN, CO DONEGAL
In this week’s programme John and Francis Brennan come to the help of a restaurant in Bundoran, Co Donegal. McGarrigle’s Restaurant badly needs a facelift and to boost its declining business. McGarrigle’s is a family venture, run by the charismatic Sean McGarrigle, chef and owner, and his young daughter, Yvonne, who wants to drag her dad into the 21st century. But Sean is set in his ways and the Brennans and Yvonne have an uphill task persuading Sean to trust them about what’s best for the business.
MILLTOWN HOUSE, DINGLE, CO KERRY
This week the Brennans are challenged by an Irishman and an American who have gone into business together. Stephen McPhilemy is an Irish tour guide and co-owner Patrick Wade is a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur. Stephen and Patrick recently bought Milltown House in Dingle, Co Kerry. The 10-bedroom guesthouse has Hollywood connections, being once lived in by Robert Mitchum. Now Stephen and Patrick dream about making this one of the finest guesthouses in Dingle. However, there’s an awful lot of work to be done and they have no experience. Can the Brennans make this Irish-American dream come true?
SHERKIN NORTH SHORE, SHERKIN ISLAND, CO CORK
Can the Brennan brothers help a new island business? Kathy and Mike O’Connor own a hostel on Sherkin Island that’s been neglected for years and now needs a huge amount of work to be brought up to modern standards. The Brennans have their work cut out - an island location is challenging and this is a brand new adventure for Kathy and Mike.
ANNESBROOK Duleek, Co. Meath
This week John and Francis Brennan are challenged to restore the fortunes of Annesbrook, an historic house that needs to finds new ways to pay its way. Owner Kate Sweetman, her daughter Sadhbh and her niece, Caroline, plan to work together to develop Annesbrook as a wedding venue. They want the house to bring in revenue and become sustainable for future generations of the family. However, they have no background in the bridal business, they have a very limited budget and no profile in the highly competitive wedding market. Can the Brennan brothers help them succeed?
THE BEACH HOTEL, MULLAGHMORE Co SLIGO
Francis and John Brennan come to the help of Patrick Markey & Louise Mc Ardle who have just bought a 28-bedroom seaside hotel. Patrick and Louise dream of making the hotel a success. But despite a great location the hotel bedrooms need an awful lot of work and Patrick and Louise have a very limited budget. The Brennans know it’s vital to attract new and returning business to fund their renovations and they bring a range of suggestions for creating packages with local businesses, including fishing trips and stand up paddleboarding lessons.
RIVERSDALE GUESTHOUSE & BARGES Ballinamore, Co Leitrim
It’s a first for the Brennans as they’re asked to help a barge holiday business. Graham and Patricia Thomas are the owners of a 9-bedroom guesthouse that’s used for B&B, 3 separate self-catering family units and 7 barges which are used for holiday rentals. It’s a big business and it’s badly in need of modernisation but Graham and Patricia don’t know what they should be concentrating on. Can the Brennan brothers help them focus and steer this diverse business into the 21st century?
ICA – AN GRIANÁN Termonfeckin, Co Louth
This week Francis and John Brennan come to the help of a national institution. Liz Wall, President of the ICA (Irish Countrywomen’s Association), has asked the Brennan brothers to help invigorate business at An Grianán, the ICA college. An Grianán is comprised of a 17th century house and grounds with 53 bedrooms, a 120 seat dining room, function room, bar, 6 self catering cottages and a small shop. To keep An Grianán alive they need to attract new members, update their facilities and attract people to their courses to support their ambitions. It’s a huge place and a huge task – can the Brennans make a difference?
Breathnach’s is a 6th generation family owned pub, café and convenience store which is struggling to make ends meet. It was once run as a hotel but the bedrooms have been neglected for decades. Mary Cronin wants to reverse Breathnach’s ailing fortunes and to ensure that she’s not the generation that lets the family business go bust.
BEAULIEU HOUSE, GARDEN & MOTOR COLLECTION
This breathtaking historic house is over 800 years old and has been in Cara Konig’s family for 12 generations. Cara’s mother died recently and now it’s Cara’s turn to take on the running of the family home. It’s a huge challenge and Cara has begun by opening 2 rooms as B&B accommodation. But the Brennans believe that the real business potential of the house lies in attracting weddings and other special events.
MILLSTREET COUNTRY PARK Millstreet, Co Cork
A first for At Your Service, as the Brennans come to the rescue of Millstreet Country Park. The ailing park is owned and financially supported by a commercial company, Avonmore Electrical. But the recession means this funding is to be retracted and the park faces closure. Can the Brennans help the park attract more visitors, become self-supporting and stay open?
ORANMORE CASTLE Oranmore, Co Galway
Oranmore Castle is a 800 year old tower which is owned and run by artist Leonie Finn. Leonie’s certainly no businesswoman - even Oranmore locals hardly know anything about the Castle. But Leonie has called in the Brennans to help her rescue the dilapidated Castle and bring in some much needed revenue. Can the Brennans put Oranmore Castle back on the map?
TINAHELY FARM SHOP Tinahely, Co Wicklow
2 years ago Philip and Rebecca Hadden sold their herd of dairy cattle and started a new business venture. Beginning with an honesty box selling eggs, they’ve progressed to running a small farm shop and café. But they’re not raising enough income to support their young family. At heart they’re farmers not business people - can John and Francis Brennan give them the commercial nous they need to survive?
DJANGO’S HOSTEL AND CLOUGHJORDAN ECO-VILLAGE Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary
The Brennans are called in to help Pa Finucane who runs Django’s Hostel in Cloughjordan Ecovillage. The ecovillage is packed full of good intentions and brimming with great ideas, but it lacks one thing – visitors. As a consequence the village hostel is struggling to survive. The Brennan’s challenge is to find ways to broaden the appeal of the ecovillage, improve visitor numbers and to turn around the fortunes of Django’s Hostel.
NEW PARK HOTEL Athenry, Co Galway
32 year old Louise Feeney has taken over the running of the 11 room New Park Hotel from her mother. She’s made changes but so far they’ve been unsuccessful, with turnover falling and business declining, despite Louise’s best efforts. She’s called in the Brennans to help reverse her fortunes. This is Louise’s one big chance to put her stamp on the business and it’s vital she gets it right.
THE WEST COUNTY HOTEL Ennis, Co Clare
One of the biggest hotels and largest budgets ever featured on At Your Service. This 152 room hotel has recently been bought out of receivership. It has suffered from years of neglect and now new owner, 28 year old Patrick Treacy, wants to restore its fortunes. He has a half million euro budget to spend but he needs the Brennan’s advice to make sure not a cent is wasted.
COOLANOWLE COUNTRY HOUSE
Top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan continue their mission to help independent hospitality businesses and tonight they’re thinking big. Bernadine and Jimmy Mulhall run a country house B&B and organic farm in Ballickmoyler in County Carlow. The B&B is in immaculate condition but room sales are pitiful – the location is remote and there’s no reason for people to visit. The Brennan brothers are called in and come up with an ambitious plan to convert a barn into a function venue. But it’s a major construction job – can Bernadine and Jimmy see the project through?
HAYDEN’S HOTEL, BALLINASLOE, CO. GALWAY
The 3 Creaven brothers took over Hayden’s in Ballinasloe in 2008 despite having no previous experience in the hotel industry. But the continuing recession thwarted their plans for developing the hotel into apartments and they’ve found themselves with a 47-room hotel to run. Hayden’s was once famous throughout Ireland as a wedding venue and the Creaven brothers aspire to restore the hotel’s reputation for weddings. But with their lack of experience it’s going to be an uphill task – can the Brennans help them knock the hotel into shape and bring the wedding business back?
St Helen’s Bay Golf Club
It’s a first for hotel experts John and Francis Brennan. They’ve been called in by St Helen’s Bay Golf Club near Rosslare Harbour in County Wexford to help makeover their golfing business. Owner Larry Byrne is first and foremost a golfer but the Brennans want him to realise the potential of the site to attract more than just golfers. The Brennans come up with a plan to attract families and non-members and to revamp the neglected holiday cottages. But wild weather proves challenging as the Irish summer fails to materialise.
Hoteliers Francis and John Brennan advise Mairead and Brendan Tierney, who recently expanded their pub into self-catering cottages, a tea room and a gift shop. The owners are by trade a banker and a farmer with a lack of hospitality experience, and need some tips on the best way to run the new business - but the brothers give them a shocking analysis of what really needs to be done
United Artists Club
The Brennans are called in to revive the fortunes of the United Arts Club in Dublin, the first time they have tackled a private members club and taken on a committee. The establishment was founded more than 100 years ago but is now badly in need of a revamp, suffering from outdated facilities and falling membership. The brothers attempt to breathe new life into the place, hoping it will survive another century.
Old Imperial Hotel
Tonight, top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan are in the historic seaside town of Youghal, Co Cork to help first-time hoteliers Mark Golden and Mark Johnston get their 17 room hotel up and running. They took over the lease in January 2012 but they come from a catering background and have never run a hotel before. To have their own successful business has always been their dream – can the Brennans make this dream become reality?
In tonight’s show Francis and John Brennan are called in to help restore the fortunes of a historic country house. Rossnaree House has a unique location overlooking Newgrange but despite its proximity to one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions it is failing to fill its 4 rooms. Owner and artist Aisling Law wants to find a way to make her historic house pay but she has no background in business. However, she’s not convinced by the Brennans advice
Kerry Coast Inn Last in series. In tonight’s progra
Last in series. In tonight’s programme top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan come to the aid of the Kerry Coast Inn on the Ring of Kerry. Abina Quirke has run the hotel for years and she’s now looking to hand over the reins to her 25-year-old son Jeff. But the business isn’t in great shape – the rooms are tired and domestic looking and as young people emigrate from the town there’s no business for their nightclub. Can the Brennans make the Inn fit for a new era?
The Phoenix B&B, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry
Brand new series. Expert hoteliers Francis and John Brennan are back and the first programme of the series features free spirit Lorna Tyther who runs The Phoenix, a B&B with 4 rooms, as well as traditional caravans, a dreamy chalet and vegetarian restaurant. The Phoenix is situated on the Dingle Peninsula and the Brennans want Lorna to make the business more attractive to the thousands of tourists that drive past her door each summer. But Lorna is worried that she might end up destroying the alternative ethos of the business. Can the Brennans convince her to break out of her niche and embrace the mainstream market? Or will Lorna remain resistant to any major change?
Harbour House B&B, Courtown. Co Wexford
Tonight the Brennan brothers think big in Courtown, where Francis used to holiday as a child. Donal and Margaret O’Gorman have run Harbour House B&B for many years and want to future-proof the business. But the B&B needs a radical makeover and the location is challenging. Courtown town centre is blighted by boarded up hotels and it’s a long way from the bustling resort Francis remembers. Unperturbed, the Brennans and the O’Gorman’s hatch ambitious plans to get the whole town to work together and hold a summer tourism festival. It’s the Brennan’s most ambitious plan yet, but will it work?
The Strand Inn, Dunmore East. Co Waterford
Top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan continue their mission to help independent hospitality businesses and this week they’re at The Strand Inn located in the pretty seaside village of Dunmore East. Clifden Foyle and his younger sister Louise intend to take over the family business, which includes 16 bedrooms, a bar and two restaurants. They have ambitious and expensive plans but the Brennans are convinced they are ignoring the profit-making opportunities that exist right under their noses.
Crossogue Equestrian Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
This week hotel experts John and Francis Brennan battle fire damage and tight deadlines at Crossogue House and Equestrian Centre. Crossogue House is a Georgian property that runs teenage summer camps, as well as riding holidays for adults. A recent fire has completely gutted the house and owner Mark Malloy is struggling to open in time for his essential summer bookings. The Brennans want him to use the fire as an opportunity to build a stronger business but with so much work to be done, and a stud farm to run, it’s a race to finish on time.
The Olde Glenbeigh Hotel, Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry.
Top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan continue their mission to help hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses around Ireland. This week they have been called to The Olde Glenbeigh Hotel on the Ring of Kerry. Mary Keary has run the hotel for 24 years and she’s now looking to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business. Mary’s young son Killian and her daughter-in-law Marie are also keen to take more responsibility but none of them are sure what to do to improve the business. Although it has a prime location, years of inaction have taken their toll. Can the Brennans negotiate the family politics and make this old coaching inn fit for a new era?
Seán Collins Inn, Adare. Co Limerick
Tonight, expert hoteliers John and Francis Brennan visit Adare. This year is make or break for Seán and Bridie Collins and their 3 businesses; the Seán Collins & Sons Bar, the Pink Potato Restaurant and The Adare Village Inn. If they can’t improve turnover, then one of the businesses will have to go. The Brennans have a plan but the Collins struggle to find the funds to invest. Everything is riding on this summer, but as improvements get scaled back will the Collins be able to do enough to survive?
Kilmahon House, Shanagarry, Co Cork
This week top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan are helping Mary and Jeremy Martin launch their luxury country house retreat. It’s taken the Martins five years to renovate Kilmahon House and the Brennans have been called in to get the business up and running and ready for the summer season. The Brennans believe the product is top-notch but convincing the Martins to get the business open, to begin marketing and to prepare for the summer season is another matter.
Brosna Lodge Hotel, Banagher On Shannon, Co. Offaly
Presented by hotel experts Francis and John Brennan, tonight’s programme features Pat and Della Horan, their daughter Aoife and Brosna Lodge Hotel, a 14 bedroom hotel with a bar and restaurant. It may be the only hotel left in town but the rooms at Brosna Lodge have become rundown and after 11 years owners Pat and Della have become stuck in a rut. The Brennans arrive with big ideas for Aoife and the future of the business - but will Pat and Della have the money and energy to see the project through?
Lough Key House, Co Roscommon
Presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan, tonight’s programme features Lough Key House, which is situated on the edge of Lough Key Forest Park in Co Roscommon. Owner Francis McDonagh wants to turn her grand country house into a sustainable business but with an average occupancy of just one room a night it’s proving more of a hobby than a business. She is going to have to make some tough decisions if she’s going to make the Brennan’s survival plan work.
The Royal Valentia, Co Kerry
This week top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan continue their mission to help struggling guesthouses survive the recession. The historic Royal Valentia, on the beautiful Island of Valentia is in trouble. Dubliners Vincent and his sister Fiona bought the guesthouse 5 years ago. They were hoping to live the Island dream but it’s all gone horribly wrong. After investing thousands this summer is their last chance to make it work. Can the Brennans help them turn the business around?
Ouvane Falls, West Cork.
Tonight top hoteliers John and Francis Brennan help local school bus driver Noreen Mullins prepare for her first ever summer as boss of the Ouvane Falls. After spending a lifetime working in local hotels Noreen decided to take the plunge and buy a 3-year lease. It needs work and the Brennan’s ambitious plan tests Noreen to the limit. Will selling ice creams from a converted store cupboard help ensure her future and will she be able to turn the hotel around and create a vibrant new business?
The Strand, Kilkee
Hotel experts John and Francis Brennan are back providing business makeovers to independent hotels and guesthouses around Ireland and this week they’re in Kilkee, Co Clare. The Strand B&B and restaurant can count Che Guevara as one of its former guests but lately it has fallen on hard times. John and Francis decide the only option is for a complete transformation inside and out. With no budget for labour, owners Caroline and Johnny Redmond get down to work, but will their dramatic efforts be enough to transform the balance sheet?
The Blue Door, Wexford
Top hoteliers John and Francis Breenan continue their mission to help B&B’s and guesthouses around Ireland. This week they have been called to the Blue Door B&B in Wexford. Owner Derek Mullins needs help. As well as running the B&B, he also works as a full-time chef at a hotel in Bray and doing two jobs is taking its toll. The Brennans need to find away to reignite Derek’s passion and persuade him to commit to the Blue Door. But not everyone is convinced their radical plan will work.
Beirnes of Battlebridge Caravan & Camping Park, Co Roscommon
Expert hoteliers John and Francis Brennan decide to branch out from B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses and tackle “glamping” or glamorous camping. They take a camper van to Beirnes of Battlebridge campsite in Co Leitrim. Owner Joe Beirne is taking early retirement and he and his wife Eilish now have to make their pub and campsite successful enough to support themselves and their 3 children. The Brennan’s plan is simple; make the park one of the best caravan and camping sites in Ireland. But are Joe and Eilish ready to move up to the next level?
Phoenix Park House, Dublin
Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan are back providing business makeovers to B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses and this week they’re embarking on their biggest challenge yet. The Smith family is converting two shop units and their 30-room guesthouse into a hotel and restaurant before the summer season. They have been planning the project for years but it only takes the Brennans a few hours to find fundamental problems with the plan. As the project begins to fall dangerously behind can the Brennans convince the Smiths to hire professional help before the dream turns into a nightmare? And as the weeks turn into months will Phoenix Park House open before the money runs out?
Windsor Inn, Cork
Presented by hotel experts Francis and John Brennan, tonight’s programme features Mick Hannifin and The Windsor Inn in Cork. Reviews are terrible and damp patches are growing fast! The business is crying out for a makeover, but with his first child on the way Mick is afraid to spend money. The Brennans insist on a major investment plan but it’s an uphill struggle to get Mick started, let alone finished in time for the summer season. Can Mick rise to the challenge?
Tonight’s programme features Creedon’s Hotel in Inchigeelagh, Co Cork. The 12 bedroom hotel has been owned by the Creedon family since 1942 and current owner Joe Creedon wants to pass it on to his children. But times are hard and Joe is struggling to keep the business afloat. He calls in top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Can they find a way to keep the business going and make it viable for the next generation of the Creedon family?
Skylon Hotel, Dublin
Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan tackle the largest and busiest hotel yet to be featured in At Your Service. The Brennans have been called in by the 126 room Skylon Hotel in Dublin who are looking for the brother’s advice on how to improve this city hotel. Francis and John have to analysis how the whole place is run, looking at all areas, including housekeeping, catering, reception and staff motivation. Interior designer Karl Fradgley redesigns 3 rooms and there’s an open competition to see which the staff and public prefer. But will the Skylon take heed of any of the advice that’s on offer?
Portfinn Lodge (and Fjord Restaurant)
Presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Oran Daly from the Portfinn Lodge and Fjord Restaurant in Leenane, Co Galway. Portfinn Lodge has been in the family since the late seventies, and son Oran has returned from a spell working in America to take over the business from his parents. But his return coincides with the recession and a severe downturn in business. He’s also located in an idyllic but remote location. Oran calls in the Brennans to help get the business back on the map, take it through the tough times - and into good shape for the future.
Small hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses are given a business makeover by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Hannah and Paddy Flynn from Roundwood House in Mountrath, Co Laois. Roundwood House is a 10-bedroom Georgian country house and Hannah is about to take over the business from her parents. It’s time to bring the House into the 21st century - the Brennans believe that Roundwood has bags of potential for corporate business. But this is a brand new approach - will Hannah and Paddy be up for the challenge?
Kincora House (now The Wild Honey Inn)
Presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features husband and wife, Aidan McGrath and Kate Sweeney, who are based in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare. Aidan is a well-known chef who has worked in some of the best Irish and UK restaurants. However, Aidan and accountant Kate dreamt of owning their own business and last year couldn’t resist buying Kincora House. With 14 bedrooms it was a much bigger property than they had originally intended to purchase. With no hotel experience or plan of action, they need all the help they can get. Can Francis and John get them ready for the summer season? Or have Aidan and Kate bitten off more than they can chew?
Coral Gables Guest House
Expert hoteliers Francis and John Brennan return for a second series, providing business makeovers for B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses. Tonight’s programme features Sarah Haslam from Coral Gables Guest House in Rosslare whose business is declining and whose confidence is ebbing. Francis and John Brennan are called in to help her revive her fortunes. They believe that she should be capitalizing on the local ferry trade and that she should be chasing niche markets. Their ideas include providing accommodation for motorcyclists and building kennels for the pets of dog owners. But after years of doing it her own way will Sarah be convinced by their plans?
Rockview Hotel (now ArrowRock Hostel)
Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan are back providing business makeovers to B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses. Tonight’s programme features Craig Robinson from the one star Rockview Hotel, Co Sligo. The business has been declining for years and Craig is desperate for help. Can Francis and John take Rockview in a new direction? They advise Craig to target the low-budget market but keep his hotel bar license - he decides to go the whole hog and reopen as a hostel. It’s a brave business decision but will it be enough to revive his fortunes?
Presented by Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features the Mullen family who run Smarmore Castle, Ardee, Co Louth. The Mullen family were mushroom farmers who 10 years ago decided to take on the challenge of running the 680 year-old Castle. It has only 5 guest rooms and the business relies on it’s leisure centre, but this has been losing members. The Brennans want the Mullens to capitalize on the family market and in doing so to give the whole Castle a brand new lease of life.
New Series. Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan are the expert presenters of this new series, which provides B&B’s, guesthouses and small hotels with complete business makeovers. The first programme features Rita Malone from Poulaphouca House, Co. Wicklow. Rita is unsure which direction the business should be taking and has toyed with the idea of creating a gourmet restaurant to attract new trade. But Francis and John believe that Poulaphouca’s business potential lies elsewhere and that Rita should focus on attracting more wedding parties from the lucrative Dublin market. But there’s a lot of work to be done if the Brennan’s plans are to be realised. Can Francis and John persuade Rita to change direction, turn round the business and help it reach its true potential?
THE RAVINE HOTEL
Business makeover series for B&Bs, small hotels and guesthouses, presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Nellie O’Boyle from The Ravine Hotel, Lisdoonvarna. Nellie knows that the hotel is in need of a makeover but doesn't know where to start. There is strong competition from modern hotels nearby and Francis and John need to persuade Nellie to up her game. If she takes their advice she will have a mountain of work to do, but can she afford to ignore their recommendations?
BEACH HAVEN HOUSE & HOSTEL
New hospitality business makeover series presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Avery & Niamh Coryell of Beach Haven House & Hostel in Tramore, Co. Waterford. In addition to running their 8-bedroom B&B and 31-bed hostel, they are in the process of building six studio apartments. With the June Bank Holiday looming, can they complete their building work before the busy summer season kicks in? And can Francis and John help them upgrade every aspect of the business and find ways to improve their out-of-season trade?
Lahinch Golf Lodge
Expert hoteliers Francis and John Brennan present this business makeover series for B&Bs, small hotels and guesthouses. Tonight’s programme features Conor Tuohy who runs the Lahinch Golf Lodge in Co. Clare. Though nominally a Golf Lodge, Conor has seen his market change as Lahinch’s popularity as a surfing destination increases. Francis and John encourage Conor to exploit the Lodge’s appeal to this emerging market. But Conor has several projects on the go at once and struggles to find the time to follow their advice.
TARA GREEN B&B
Presented by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Wieslawa O’Brien from Tara Green B&B in Shannon, Co. Clare. Her business has been badly hit by strong competition from new hotels in the area. To make matters worse, the re-scheduling of flights at nearby Shannon Airport has led to a fall in bookings. Can Francis and John help her to find ways to exploit what she has on offer, come to terms with branching out and to consider a radical change of direction?
The Old Rectory
Small hotels, B&B’s and guesthouses are given a business makeover by top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan. Tonight’s programme features Nancy O’Hara from the Old Rectory in Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly, who, with no sign and no web site, is indeed part of ‘The Hidden Ireland’. Can John and Francis encourage Nancy to stop treating the business as a hobby and to start marketing what’s on offer, find new customers and make more money? And can they ever persuade her to ditch her soft toys?
Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan present this programme, which provides a business makeover to B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses. Tonight’s programme features Els Jongejans and Peter O’Connor, proprietors of Glenribbeen Lodge, Lismore, Co. Waterford who aim to create a truly eco-friendly B&B. Can they upgrade sufficiently to meet the latest stringent eco-industry demands? And, just as importantly, can Francis and John harness Peter’s enthusiasm and get him to focus on one project at a time?
Top hoteliers Francis and John Brennan present this programme, which provide a makeover for B & B’s, small hotels and guesthouses. Tonight’s programme features Ruby Johnston from Cherryville House in Kildare. Can Francis and John convince Ruby that her farmhouse needs to be upgraded to better suit the needs of the 21st century traveller, without losing its homely feel?