Smart Group 5

Dan Johnson-Allen

Operations Director of Smart Hospitality
“…Joining the Smart group as Operations Director, if that’s cheesy then I apologize, but I truly am very proud.”

Out of the frying pan and into the Smart fire

After a long period in the kitchen working as a chef, Dan decided that he wanted to expand his skill base and work front of house. Coming to London and falling into its events scene, Dan declared that he’d give the big city two years. 13 years on and he is still encapsulated by this ever-changing industry. Dan has had the privilege of working across a complete spectrum of events. Ranging from the Queen’s garden parties for 7500 guests at Buckingham Palace, to an intimate dinner for 2 in the Wellington Arch, Dan has the know how to guide Smart to the next level. 

The excitement in events

Admiring the vast list of events to Dan’s name, we asked him to pick out his favourite.  “Personally I think this is a really hard question to answer, the events industry is very exciting, I get excited by great food and wine, accompanied with great service. Being challenged to deliver a logistically tricky event and exceeding expectations excites me. I get excited at the fact we get the opportunity to work in iconic venues executing industry leading events, however, a very good example that encapsulates all of the above would be the Mercury Music Prize. This event almost killed me, but the excitement makes up for it all.” A personal thank you from Her Majesty The Queen is Dan’s proudest achievement. Oh, and did we mention that the second time it happened to him, he was pretty happy also. After the question was asked and the Queen was overlooked, Dan continued to laugh saying, “However, the right answer has to be joining the Smart group as Operations Director, if that’s cheesy then I apologise, but I truly am very proud.”

Food, the fuel to his fire

Being in the food industry for so many years, Dan’s love of food never fades. In his spare time he cooks, eats and entertains.  When he is not in the kitchen he is in the garage. For Dan is a self acclaimed ‘petrol head’, “I never know what to work on first, my motor bike, my classic Land Rover or my speedboat.” Dan also likes to snowboard, surf, and play squash. When its time to chill you will find Dan with a great book or an even better movie.  

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