Dean Alunan started as a front-line worker and has risen to the ranks of General Manager at a private hospital in London.
Starting his career in the hospitality and events industry, Dean embarked on a journey that took him from customer service positions at theme parks to managing private events and tours. Dean’s extroverted personality fitted perfectly with the hospitality and events industry, so much so that after university he was offered a management position in private events. After spending a decade honing his skills, including a period at Pinewood Studios, Dean made a bold move into the contract catering world with Compass Group UK & Ireland.
In 2018, Dean joined Compass' Eurest division. Initially based at the head office of a leading tech client, his role swiftly evolved when the COVID 19 pandemic hit. With an admirable commitment to helping others, Dean embraced the challenge to take on the role of Interim Manager at a private hospital in July 2020.
Once the interim period was over, Dean was offered the role of Operations Manager. Dean took charge of the hospital's day-to-day operations, including managing the staff and visitor restaurant, Café Dallucci, hospitality and patient dining. He skilfully handled rota management, recruitment, and HR matters.
His strong connections within the Compass network helped him seamlessly introduce exciting culinary options to enhance the hospital's dining experience and deliver quality cuisine tailored to the client’s expectations. Dean’s input helped achieve great patient satisfaction scores (100% for Food, Organisation Food, and Ward Food in PLACE), alongside hosting enhanced events for staff and patients.
For Dean, growth is not limited to his own journey. He believes in nurturing talent and supporting the progress of others. Within his team of 56 dedicated individuals, Dean fosters an open, sharing, and transparent management style. By prioritising learning and development opportunities, he empowers his team to reach their full potential. Internal promotion is a key component of Dean's management philosophy, and he states: “I firmly believe that everyone should have a chance to advance, just like I did. Internal promotion allows our people to shine and they have so much knowledge that lets them excel when they rise into management.”
Dean's commitment to personal growth is evident in his current pursuit of a Level 6 CMDA (Certificate in Management Development and Applied Leadership). Currently in his second year of studies, he focuses on managing mental wellness and self-esteem – something he says is crucial for his team.
Being able to be himself at work is a huge centre point of everything that Dean does. Dean said “in past jobs, even talking about my gender and identity and orientation was frowned upon. Now, I have found my voice in the Pride in Food Community as the Healthcare Ambassador.”
Dean’s commitment to his team and work won him a place as a finalist in The Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards 2023 – highlighting the commitment he has put into his own team as well as the healthcare sector to make it a welcoming place for everyone.
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