begin training towards his hospitality and catering level two qualification. Abdul spent one day a week at college where he gained his maths and English qualifications and attended theory sessions. For the rest of the week he gained practical skills at the ICC, one of the UK’s busiest conference centres. While training for his qualification, he learned skills such as serving dinners, plate waiting and money handling. In addition to these industry-specific skills, he also gained lots of transferable skills such as time-keeping and organisation, which are essential skills for any industry. Today, Abdul is a duty managerial assistant

following the completion of his level two apprenticeship. Abdul plans to continue on to a higher level apprenticeship – the hospitality supervisory standard at level three, which he will complete with the support of Solihull College and University Centre. Abdul now has more responsibility and more emphasis placed on him to get the job done to the very best standard he can achieve. Abdul says: “Every single day here is different – in the same day you can go from serving at a small event for 10 to a banquet for 300! “In terms of my role, I see providing flawless

hospitality as an art – when you get feedback from clients that the catering staff made the event go perfectly, it makes you very proud. “I love that you get real-life skills on the job,

rather than by just sitting in a classroom. You get lots of training and support to be your very best and there’s lots of job opportunities here once you’ve completed your apprenticeship.”

The hospitality graduate: Matt Callaghan, operations support manager, BaxterStorey “I love what I do – the hospitality industry is so diverse and no day is ever the same. “Since college, I have

always wanted to work with food and with people so I worked in bars and hotels and I studied culinary arts management at university.

In 2017, I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the BaxterStorey graduate programme.

Before I joined BaxterStorey, I had no idea how varied the industry was. I’ve been lucky enough to experience all aspects of the business: from finance to HR, marketing and nutrition. “Now, as an operations support manager,

I get my job satisfaction from seeing the teams I work with getting excited about what they do. Whether it’s the latest food concept launch or helping organise food festivals, I love to see my team being so passionate.”

The restaurant supervisor: Glenn Wilson, restaurant and bar supervisor, Ham Yard Hotel “I started my career with Firmdale in 2014 as a cocktail waiter at Charlotte Street Hotel while studying for my degree in hospitality and business management. I had previously spent six years working as a chef but it didn’t take me long to

realise that the floor was where I belonged. “I briefly left the company when I graduated for

12 months but was soon back, re-joining as a food and beverage supervisor and duty manager at Number Sixteen, our South Kensington property. Here I was lucky enough to be awarded the Firmdale Annual Rising Star Award.”

The executive chef: John Barber, executive chef, Bar Boulud John joined Mandarin Oriental back in 2009. He was handpicked by the hotel due to his passion for food, delivering the best hospitality service possible to guests and his huge drive to learn and develop his career within the industry.

John participated in a chef development

programme for two and a half years where he rotated between all the different kitchens in the hotel, and consequently secured promotion to demi chef in Bar Boulud in 2012. From here, John’s career progressed rapidly, with yearly promotions, becoming an executive sous chef in 2015 and in 2018 he was promoted to executive chef.


● ●Financial acumen to manage budgets and your gross profit on food

● ●Organisational skills to ensure your staff rotas, deliveries and orders run like clockwork

● ●A cool head and a calm demeanour

Front of house To become a restaurant manager, you’ll need to have the following:

● ●A proven track record in the hospitality service sector, working up from waiter, maybe, with experience in bar work

● ●A passion for good service, food and drink

● ●Financial and commercial business acumen, entrepreneurial flair and creativity

● ●Excellent communication, management and leadership skills

● ●Stamina, enthusiasm and a desire to make sure diners enjoy themselves

Back of house To become a head chef, you’ll need to have:

● ●A great record of cooking in respected kitchens

● ●Creativity, rather than just being able to follow a recipe

● ●Good management skills to lead and inspire your brigade and to enable you to work well with suppliers

Who’s who

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