Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

My Inspiration: Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle organises dinner parties for single professionals

The managing director of the Fine Dining Club moved back to Belfast and, inspired by a need to network, set up a business doing just that in the city and beyond

My biggest inspiration for starting the dining club was not a person but a set of circumstances.

I had moved from London to Belfast after Lehman Brothers collapsed.

I had lost my job and needed to work.

I am a sociable creature and I missed my friends in London. I wanted to meet new people and make new friends.

The added bonus of meeting single people was that I may find romance as well.

So I arranged a dinner, nearly three years ago. Which was meant to be a one off.

But every month people would ring me up and ask when was the next dinner? I had a couple of jobs working for a couple of small retails funds in Belfast.

But the retail banking sector in Ireland is not exactly booming!

So in November of 2011, I thought right let's give this a go. Let's see if you can turn your hobby into a thriving business.

I think the thing that keeps inspiring me and makes me want to expand is the feedback from my clients.

The majority of my business comes from referrals. I get clients who are happily attached sending me their single friends.

I am really lucky in that I have really lovely people I deal with. I will confess my favourites are my over 55s. They are a joy to be with. They are truly an inspiration.

People who have been knocked by life, by death of a spouse, or divorce or other circumstances.

People who want to get right back in the ring and say ok, life's for living. Let's enjoy ourselves. Let's have fun.

They are my inspiration.