Caterer.com are so proud to be long standing supporters of both The Springboard Charity and Hotelympia. We had a great few days at the show meeting so many hospitality professionals on our stand – our pick and mix stall helped! Have a look at the result of our Twitter competition #excitinghospitalityjobs here. On 1st Match our team and guests had an amazing time at The Big Event, which raised a fantastic £70,000 for Springboard. We’re looking forward to future Springboard events.
On 1st March, St. David’s Day, London’s ExCeL was filled by over 550 guests who came together to celebrate and support the work of The Springboard Charity. The Big Event at Hotelympia, in partnership with Fresh Montgomery, was a huge success as the hospitality industry gathered to support the vital work of Springboard, raising £70,000. This Big Event followed the Hotelympia 10K Run on Sunday 28th February, where 270 runners staved off the cold and ran in support of Springboard.
The platinum sponsor for The Big Event was COREcruitment. The Big Event was also in partnership with Hotelympia, Levy Restaurants, Compass Group, DRP, Friesland Campina, Bibendum and Fresh Montgomery.
Held in ExCeL’s Platinum Suite, the Charity Gala Dinner was truly a night to remember. The impressive event was filled with entertainment from the London Welsh Rugby Club Choir and the RPJ Band, along with tribute artists to Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey. Exquisite cuisine was provided by Executive Head Chef James Buckley, whilst Bibendum provided the wine. Moreover, Springboard’s FutureChef Alumni worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a great night, showing just how far they have come thanks to Springboard’s FutureChef initiative.
On the night, Roki Hussain and Ruth Hansom helped remind guests why the event took place. Roki had struggled in life before Springboard supported him into work. Thanks to Springboard’s support he was able to acquire work with bartlett mitchell and is now heading on Springboard’s Peru Trek 2015. Ruth took part in Springboard’s FutureChef and thereafter was offered a place at Westminster Kingsway College. She is now working at The Ritz and is a member of the ever expanding FutureChef Alumni.
‘We are delighted at the amount we raised through The Big Event at Hotelympia. The support we were shown was phenomenal and it’s a privilege to be the beneficiary charity for Hotelympia’s Gala Dinner. It was a thoroughly successful evening of entertainment and the funds raised for The Springboard Charity will make a significant impact on people’s careers and lives. The funds will support existing ‘Into Work’ programmes and allow investment in new ones to support the young, the unemployed and those facing barriers to work into sustainable careers within the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.’
-Anne Pierce MBE, Chief Executive, Springboard
Future highlights on the Springboard events calendar include the Peru Trek (11th-22nd March), Scottish Golf Day (29th April) and the Team Velo Challenge (22nd-24th September).
Learn more: http://springboard.uk.net/events
~ Ends ~
About The Springboard Charity
The Springboard Charity helps the young, the unemployed and those facing barriers to work into sustainable employment in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.
Springboard provides a range of opportunities for sustainable employment, or vibrant careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism through;
- Free specialist careers information
- Taster work experience opportunities
- Development programmes to help maximise the chances of obtaining sustainable employment
- Pre-employment and mentoring programmes
- Educational teaching resources, information, support and student activities to teachers in schools and colleges
Springboard equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential and also works closely with the industry to help attract more talent and address skills shortages. In doing so, it has the support of over 180 different industry establishments and suppliers.
For more information about Springboard, visit: www.springboard.uk.net
Twitter: @SpringboardUK #SB25thAnniversary
Are you looking to fill your hospitality vacancies? Caterer.com interviewed the team at Wildwood Kitchen to find out more about their hiring process and why Caterer.com is their online jobs board of choice.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been in the industry for 10 years now – in the UK, Holland and Australia, mostly for big chains and some small independent ones. I’ve been working with Tasty now for a couple of months as a General Manager.
How long were you looking for a job before you found this one?
I didn’t spend long looking for new opportunities on Caterer.com as it advertises so many jobs. I looked on other websites but Caterer.com had the most vacancies that appealed to me.
Can you explain the online application process on Caterer.com?
It was really simple – I uploaded my CV and cover letter and there is a very useful part of the website that gives you the option for ‘one-click apply’. It doesn’t take a second, the application is sent off and you get a reply straight away – usually from a recruiter, so it was very quick.
What made you apply for the job?
Originally it was the location that appealed to me. The more I researched different types of companies, the more I realised that Wildwood would be a good company to work for. Tasty PLC is new, and the more I researched the more I thought these are the people I want to work for, so that’s how I ended up applying for the role.
Would you recommend Caterer.com to other jobseekers?
Absolutely. One of the things I found with the Caterer.com website is that it’s very user friendly. The one-click apply was the biggest pull for me because when you’re a restaurant manager you don’t have a lot of time. With this process, you upload your CV, which only takes a couple of minutes, and one-click apply CVs went out within seconds. I had a great response from representatives working at very reputable companies and it all went from there. It was a very quick process. I was actually surprised at how fast Caterer.com found replies for me – and they were good replies. It’s a great website to use.
Tell us a bit about Tasty plc.
Tasty PLC operates 3 brands – Wildwood, Dim T and Wildwood Kitchen. My role is Head of Recruitment and Head of Retention. We’re growing very quickly as a company, so it’s about finding the right people to help us grow, making sure those people stay with us, and making sure we’re a company that people love to work for.
Please describe your hiring process and how Caterer.com helps you find relevant candidates.
We advertise all of our management vacancies on Caterer.com. Managers respond to me, I have a look through their applications, get back to the relevant candidates, have a chat with them about the opportunity and then invite the strong contenders in for a meeting with me. The people who fit what we’re looking for will meet with the Area Manager and office managers, and then we take it from there.
Why did you use Caterer.com as your recruitment partner?
We chose Caterer.com because it has the most relevant community and we’re looking to find people with relevant restaurant management experience.
What are some of the biggest challenges of working in hospitality?
I think many people have the perception that hospitality is not a viable career choice, that it’s something you do when you’re a student or if you can’t find anything else to do. Actually it’s a great career option, so it can often be tricky getting that message out there. The role is very people focused, so you have to stay positive. You need to be friendly all the time with guests and with your team. I’d say they are probably the biggest challenges.
What did you like about Hayley that made you hire her?
Firstly, she had relevant experience. She had worked for a branded restaurant as a manager, so that made her a good fit for us. But most importantly, when you sat down to talk with her, she obviously really liked people, and that was really important to us. She was also really ambitious and wanted to drive her career forward, and at Tasty we know we can offer ambitious people the progression they’re looking for, so that was another good thing about Hayley.
Are you happy with the quality of candidates that Caterer.com has delivered to you?
We’ve been happy with the response – we’ve been getting good candidates with relevant experience, and we’ve been able to take those candidates through – so yes, we’re very happy.
Please describe what you do here at Tasty plc.
My main job is to make sure all the branches are running efficiently. I check that all the managers receive the support they should be getting, that everything is running smoothly and that the restaurant and employees are all fine. I basically have to make sure that we do what the company wants us to do.
How many interviews were there and who were they with before you hired Hayley?
Management-wise I don’t really conduct the interviews myself. We have the recruiter Josh who does them and then I’ll be involved with the final interview to decide if they’re the right person or not. For instance, for a branch, I usually see three or four final candidates and offer them a trial shift, which gives me a good idea of whether that person is suitable or not.
What was the interview format like?
It was a face-to-face interview – I kind of try to organise informal meetings first, so no one gets nervous. As I mentioned before, I ask that person to do a trial shift. Usually I pick a busy day – Friday or Saturday night. I go to the restaurant, sit in the corner and observe what’s going on. That’s when you can really see whether someone is doing what you expect. That’s the best way for me to decide.
What impressed you about Hayley?
With Hayley, what did impress me is that she was very impulsive – she worked non-stop on the day. I remember her trial being quite demanding. She completed her trial at our branch in Salisbury, which is quite busy and she was constantly running up and down talking to customers and interacting all the time – what a manager should be doing really. We focus a lot on service, that’s our main motive. She made sure she was keeping an eye on everything, she was lovely.
On Hayley’s CV, what impressed me most is that she had been working at a large company. I do check which places they’ve been working at and whether they have the same sort of set-up as well, for example restaurants with deli. I knew we were going to have a deli, so I knew she would be good for that. I also liked the fact that she’s been a strong assistant manager. Sometimes I like people that might not be general managers right away, but they have the hunger and the passion to become a general manager. They might not have that much experience but when they start working with us they want to achieve so much. That is fantastic, because you know they’re not going to lack commitment. I certainly knew Hayley was the right person to join us.
I was very happy with the quality of candidates that Caterer.com had sent us and I would definitely use them for hiring again.
Caterer.com is the leading UK hospitality jobs website and works with hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and food service companies in the UK, assisting them in finding high quality and relevant candidates, making it the place for jobs in hospitality.
Are you excited about your future career in the hospitality industry?
For your chance to win a lovely £200 Red Letter Days voucher, visit our stand 2782, take a selfie showing us your ”Excited about working in hospitality” face’ then tweet @CatererNews with the hashtag #excitinghospitalityjobs
Stop by at stand 2782 to find out how you can access all the top jobs in hospitality and find your perfect role.
- Competition closes on 3rd March 2016 – all entries must be submitted no later
- The competition is open to everyone attending Hotelympia taking place at ExCel London
- To enter the competition, entrants must tweet @CatererNews, hashtag #excitinghospitalityjobs. Failure to meet this criteria will make the submission invalid
- Only one entry per person will be considered
- Caterer.com does not accept any responsibility for technical failures which prevent entry submission by the stated deadline
- Caterer.com reserves the right to remove submissions if they deem them unsuitable and does not condone inappropriate behaviour. Your submission is entirely your responsibility and Caterer.com does not bear any association
- There is no cash or other alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable
- The prize winner will be chosen by an internal Caterer.com committee and their decision will be final and binding to all entrants
- The prize winner will be announced via twitter on Friday 4th March
- The prize winner will need be in touch by 5pm on Monday 7th March in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in an alternative winner being chosen
The Springboard Awards for Excellence celebrate and reward inspiring people, organisations and initiatives – those that work hard to elevate the profile of the industry as an employer and, attract and retain talent.
The special night of celebration will enable guests to meet the stars of the industry as the time has come to find out who will take the accolades at the 2015 Springboard Awards for Excellence held at the spectacular Novotel London West, Monday 2nd November 2015.
Ahead of the awards ceremony, Springboard is delighted to announce the shortlisted entries in the running to win a Springboard Award for Excellence 2015.
The full shortlist:
Category 1 Promoting Careers
The Springboard Ambassador Award – sponsored by Bestway
Riccardo Corbinzolu – Wilson Vale
Josephin Schroeder – Apex Hotels
Julie Smith – Hand Picked Hotels
The Best Regional Initiative – sponsored by Bibendum PLB Group
Inspired Youth Projects Ltd
Castle Green Hotel
The Education Pipeline Award – sponsored by Serviceline
Holiday Inn Norwich North
Inspired Youth Projects Ltd
Category 2 Attracting and Developing people
Best Work Experience Provider – sponsored by James Hallam
The Headland Hotel
Spirit Pub Company – part of Green King
Hand Picked Hotels
Best Use of Digital Media – sponsored by drp
University College Birmingham
Best Recruitment Initiative – sponsored by Cartwheel Recruitment Ltd
Starwood Central London Hotels
The Young People Award – sponsored by American Express
PPHE Hotel Group
Best Housekeeping Development Strategy – sponsored by Bonasystems
Best Chef Development Strategy – sponsored by Gram UK
Compass Hotel Group
Hand Picked Hotels
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa
The Chester Grosvenor
Best Management Development Strategy – sponsored by Lifetime
PPHE Hotel Group
Best Food & Beverage Strategy – sponsored by Hand Picked Hotels
The Edwardian London
Caesars Entertainment UK
The Brookwood Partnership
CATERGORY 3 – BEST EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE
The Diversity in Employment Award – sponsored by Yap Jobs
Premier Inn – Kensington Cluster
Best Career Progression Award – sponsored by Caterer.com
ISS Facility Services – Hotels
Accor Hotels (Novotel)
The Retention Award – sponsored by Perkbox
The Brookwood Partnership
The Arch London – part of AB Hotels
The Corporate Responsibility Award – sponsored by Diageo
The Landmark London
River Cottage Ltd
The Brookwood Partnership
Best Employer Award – sponsored by Collins King & Associates
The Brookwood Partnership
The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
Oakman Inns & Restaurants Ltd
The Chris Beaumont Special Award – sponsored by Bidvest Foodservice
Will be announced on the night
The industry will turn out in force to celebrate a night of successes across the hospitality sector at the Springboard Awards for Excellence.
Restaurants and hotels should be legally required to tell customers how service charges and tips are distributed among staff. That’s the message from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in a new initiative proposed to Business Secretary Sajid Javid.
The BHA – which represents 40,000 hospitality establishments in the UK – wants the Government to introduce legislation to make businesses reveal exactly what happens to the ‘extras’ customers pay at the end of a meal.
“For us it’s all about transparency,” said Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA, which has outlined the proposal in a letter to the Business Secretary.
“Although restaurants are legally entitled to deduct administration costs from service charges, for example, we think it’s important the customers understands exactly how much is deducted and why.
“Customers should be able to reward good service and know where their money ends up and how much of it goes to the staff.”
Many restaurants and hotels have signed up to the British Hospitality Association’s voluntary code of transparency on tips and service charges.
But now the BHA wants to make it a legal requirement.
The BHA wants to end confusion among customers about who is entitled to service charges.
Since 2009 it has been illegal for restaurant owners to use tips and service charges to bring wages up to the national minimum wage.
Service charge usually goes into a ‘Tronc’ – which is then distributed among waiters, front of house and the kitchen team – allocated according to arrangements agreed by the staff.
The letter to the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid says:
“…we propose that the following disclosures be made compulsory: Restaurants should disclose to customers how they deal with discretionary service charge and non-cash tips, at least by a written notice available for inspection at each restaurant and on the restaurant’s website, if there is one.
The disclosure should cover:
1. Whether an amount is deducted for handling costs (and how much);
2. How the remainder is shared between the restaurant and the employees;
3. The broad process for distribution, for example, that they are shared between the employees in the restaurant through a system controlled by a representative of the employees.”
Ms Ibrahim added: “Restaurants are legally entitled to deduct credit card and administration costs from service charges. But we think it’s important that customers understand how much is deducted and why.
“Customers should be able to reward good service and know where their money ends up and how much of it goes to the staff.”
Following concerns raised in the media, the government launched an inquiry into the issue.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has called for evidence into how cash and non-cash tips, gratuities, cover and service charges are collected and how much employers deduct from their employees.
The inquiry does not only cover the hospitality sector but goes much wider, extending to other industries where tipping is prevalent, such as hairdressing and casinos. The deadline for responses is 10 November.
Click here to find out more.
Jo Fowle, Director, Urban People
The hospitality sector is currently booming, and whilst this is of course great news, it also puts businesses at risk of losing their best employees to competition. Worryingly, research has found that around 1 in 3 hospitality workers are ready to jump ship. There’s no two ways about it – your team is imperative to the success of your business, which is precisely why supporting your staff, from the top managers to the newest hires, should be a manager’s top priority.
Here are some top tips to keep your employees happy – after all, happy employees means happy customers!
First impressions matter
This is much easier said than done but one way to ensure employees genuinely enjoy their work is to find the right ones early on. You will do both yourself and your staff a service by setting the bar high and rewarding the best, no matter how big or small your organisation.
Mistakes are often a result of a lack of communication and could be avoided with a company culture that welcomes managers and staff to share their thoughts openly. Talk to your staff on a regular basis – not just when they’ve made mistakes!
Treat your employees like people, not human assets – make them feel like part of the team rather than just ‘another worker’. Show an interest in them – take the time to understand what their aspirations are and work with them to develop their roles and progress their careers. Find out the challenges they face and work together to fix them – providing support and advice will ensure that your talent will not want to leave and will seek to communicate with you further.
You need to be upfront and honest with your team – companies who are open about the big picture with workers do better and see a lower turnover rate.
A transparent approach also avoids any unpleasant surprises. Spell out exactly what roles will involve during the interview process and make them aware of how much time they will need to commit. That way candidates will be know what they are getting themselves into and whether it is something they would be happy doing. Companies often neglect to mention aspects of work that people may find unappealing but in doing so, they cause employees to become distrustful about the organisation.
Motivate and challenge workers
Motivating your staff is key to keeping them interested. Motivation is not limited to just a cash incentive, either. You need a combination of factors, including a fun working environment and challenging tasks.
Now, we’re not saying that you should stack your employees with a high pile of unexpected challenges – this will only hinder their motivation and performance, but at the same time, if your employees begin to feel too comfortable they may begin to look elsewhere. So, challenge your workers to excel and make the most of their potential as a way of keeping things fresh in the workplace.
Align your employees’ vision with your own
Your big ideas for your business won’t go anywhere unless your employees are on board. Employees can’t just be aware of your goals, they need to believe in them as well – when someone shares the same mission and values, they will do whatever it takes to achieve a desired result.
Losing top employees can not only have high cost implications, but can also be very detrimental to the business as a whole. The key to retaining staff is to support them in every way – deliver motivational leadership, effective communication, reward schemes and opportunities to develop.
Click here for more information about Urban People.
Last week saw the first 15 employees graduate with a Foundation Degree in Hospitality Operations Manager, the first qualification of it’s type to be provided by a UK hotel group.
Whilst the qualification is validated and awarded by University College of Birmingham, this QHotels bespoke course has been developed, delivered and assessed entirely by company managers and specialists. Since starting the programme in 2013, all of the trainees have been promoted at least once.
Nichola Roskell, QHotels Director of Human Resources explains that the programme has been a huge success in attracting and retaining young talent with real potential within the business, with trainees who join having the option to complete a Certificate in Hospitality Management in year one, and then if they choose to do so, continue onto a Foundation Degree. The course underpins the company focus of developing leaders of the future, through it’s suite of QED Management Development programmes from trainees through to senior management level courses all of which combine commerciality, technical skills and personal development.
Nichola says ‘ it’s such a challenging recruitment market in hospitality, we have to be totally focused on attracting and retaining real talent’.
Rob Swinnock, Assistant Dean of Higher Education assessment at University College Birmingham said: ‘these graduates are proof that employers and educational institutions should work together to close the gap between learning and employment’
QHotels is one of Caterer.com top 60 Employers in Hospitality and a finalist in the large hotels category.
Hundreds of hospitality professionals gathered at Lancaster London on Monday night to recognise and reward the best employers in UK hospitality, at the sparkling Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2015.
The category winners announced by Strictly Come Dancing’s glamorous co-host Claudia Winkleman, included The Rezidor Hotel Group, Peach Pub Company, OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie, Whiting and Hammond, Roast, Loungers, Bettys and Taylors Group, Summit Hotels, Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, YOTEL, Fairmont St Andrews, Jumeirah London, Koh Thai Tapas, Saint Arnold Management, Cantina Laredo, The Truscott Arms, Elizabeth Finn Homes and Waterfall Catering Group.
Stratford City Hotels were awarded the top accolade of No1 Best Employer in Hospitality 2015.
“We are absolutely delighted to win two awards.We are in the ‘People Business’ and as a company we are commitment to ensuring we put ‘People’ at the heart of everything we do. These awards are confirmation that this commitment is being noticed not only by our guests – with our excellent guest satisfaction scores – but also by our hotel teams who have become true ambassadors for our brands and who deliver exceptional service on a daily basis” Wayne Androliakos, Director of Operations from Cycas Hospitality.
Nearly 9000 hospitality employees had their say
Now in their fifth highly successful year, Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards are the only established, recognised and free to enter employer awards in the hospitality industry. The awards are judged via employee responses to an online engagement survey created by engagement experts People Insight. The survey measures how well employers support, develop and reward their people. Hundreds of employers entered and the Top 60 employers gained an engagement score high enough to merit and award. Each of the Top 60 receives a free report detailing their survey results.
This year’s awards were sponsored and supported by
Hotelympia’s Careers in Hospitality Urban People Admiral Recruitment Part and Company HotCatUK
Bacchus Society of Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management Catering in Scotland
Carte Blanche Wines
The British Hospitality Association
Results show all hospitality sectors offer enjoyable and rewarding careers
People Insight provided the online employee engagement survey through which the awards were judged. Managing Director Tom Debenham said the results proved that the hospitality sector had revolutionised the way it treated its workforce.
“Everyone knows that the hospitality industry has unique pressures such as a young workforce, high staff turnover, awkward shift patterns and a pressurised atmosphere but the survey results show that the shortlisted employers are doing something tangible to make it a more attractive, rewarding and engaging career,” Tom explained.
Neil Pattison, Sales Director of Caterer.com, commented on why it matters to be a best employer as the UK economy continues to improve:
“The best employers understand how much employee engagement matters and why. They genuinely consider their employees and work hard to develop and motivate them, and this is reflected in their customer satisfaction levels, employee retention and overall business success.
“Hospitality candidates are actively job seeking and looking for great employers to work for. Each of the employers in the Top 60 now carry an accolade that will help them compete for top talent in this highly competitive recruitment landscape. Their achievement and award lets candidates know they are a Best Employer in Hospitality. “
For information about the awards visit www.bestemployersinhospitality.com
Only a few days to go now until winners are announced at Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2015. The anticipation and excitement is sky high amongst our Top 60 shortlist and at Caterer.com too!
Almost 9,000 employees have judged their hospitality employers via an engagement survey created by People Insight and this has determined the award results. Hundreds of companies entered, so to reach the Top 60 Best Employers in Hospitality 2015 is a fantastic achievement.
On Monday 12 October hundreds of hospitality professionals will gather at Lancaster London for a glittering evening of celebrations, great food and wine and no doubt some victory dancing, as the Top 60 shortlisted employers find out whether they have won their category. All sectors and regions of the industry will be represented, from pubs & bars, restaurants, hotels and food service.
Collingham Serviced Apartments are one of the Top 60 shortlisted Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality 2015. Beverly Hopley, General Manager commented “We are so pleased to be shortlisted in the Top 60 Best Employers in Hospitality. These awards are always a great night. Caterer.com puts so much effort into organising such a special evening with attention to detail and making sure everyone is made welcome.”
This year we have an outstanding number of sponsors.
Sponsorship of Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards is their way of showing support and admiration for hospitality businesses that care about their employees.
Our headline sponsors are Hotelympia’s Careers in Hospitality. Toby Wand, Managing Director of Fresh Montgomery, the organisers of Hotelympia said,
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards – a partnership borne out of a shared passion for the industry, its people, andtheir career development. Schemes like this are an incredibly important way of recognising those organisations willing to go the extra mile for their employees; employers who understand that an engaged, loyal workforce can lead to better retention levels and even higher productivity. The fact that the awards are decided solely on employee feedback makes it even more special for the recipients. We can’t wait to toast the 2015 winners and hope to see many of them again in February 2016, where once again Careers in Hospitality (29thFebruary – 3rd March, ExCel London) will play host to some of the biggest prospective employers, recruiters and leading lights in hospitality.”
It is also superb to have hotcatUK sponsoring the awards again. Director Ben McEwen said of their involvement “As the professional network for hospitality, hotcatUK is delighted to sponsor Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality Awards 2015. It is great to see so many organisations from our membership in the shortlist. We continue to champion the sector as a great place to work and endorse any opportunity to celebrate the achievement and promote best practice”.
Special thanks go to recruitment specialists Part and Company who are sponsoring the Twitter feed on the night @CatererNews #BestEmployers2015. Everyone can get their tweet on and be part of the celebrations live as the winners are announced!
Huge thanks also go to our other valued sponsors Admiral Recruitment, Urban People, Catering in Scotland, the British Hospitality Association and not forgetting Carte Blanche Wines, who are providing the fabulous wines with which everyone will be celebrating in style. Cheers!
Good luck to our Top 60 shortlist, we are looking forward to celebrating with you on Monday 12 October!
Who will be the No 1 Best Employer in Hospitality for 2015?
Tom Gore – Director & Executive Chef at The Brewery London
Gives his advice on how to stand out to employers, develop your skill set,
learn from those around you and work your way up the ladder.
My big break didn’t come until I was 18, I moved to America to work at the California Grill in Orlando, Florida as a Demi Chef de Partie; but from day one I’ve had to persevere, work hard and take criticism to become the chef I am today.
Having started in the industry 18 years ago I’m still learning. Ultimately, the time it takes for someone to get from A to
B, and progress to C depends on what type of person you are. Nothing is given to you without hard work and dedication to the cause.
When I was 25, I was offered the position of executive chef at one of the best event caterers in London, it was a great
opportunity for me and a pinnacle moment in my career. I had worked extremely hard for 10 years, having started in a 2 rosette restaurant in Essex, working at the Lanesborough Hotel in London, to spending many years abroad in the US and Australia. It doesn’t matter where you start, if you have
the right determination, work ethic and people who believe in you, you can achieve your goals.
It’s important to gain experience; whether it’s in the UK or abroad, there are so many fantastic chefs out there. I was lucky enough recently to have a show around Simon Rogan’s kitchen at Fera, and it was very inspirational.
The one thing I would certainly recommend to any chef is to work within a 5-star hotel, you will learn everything from
breakfast to banqueting and pastry. Plus, you could then have the opportunity to go abroad with the company.
For me, personally, it isn’t about how good someone’s CV is, if you have the right attitude and basic knowledge, our team
can help nurture and grow the skills. While craft and technique can be taught, natural ability cannot.
When I’m interviewing someone, the key things I tell them are:
- Have fun and be confident
- Always be on time
- Taste everything
- Ask questions and make sure you have a note book to write things down
- Concentrate on what you’re doing
- Watch how other chefs work in the kitchen to help your development
I want to see excitement from someone when they walk through a kitchen, a smile creep across their face; that’s what gets me excited and this should be the case for you too.
Always remember, be enthusiastic and dedicated to the job in hand, whatever it may be (we all have to start somewhere and do things we don’t particularly want to). A willingness to learn, positive attitude and natural talent, wherever you are, will get you a long way.