What brings people into working in the restaurant world – and what keeps them there? Hear from Ross, manager at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant:
“The first taste I had of hospitality experience came to me when I was a 15 year old as a commis chef, working part time while I was still at school… the grown-up world got hold of me. I went on to do my engineering degree but the catering industry was always where I wanted to be.
I got my first real front of house role within Centotre in 2006. Working with this fast paced, customer-focused and passionate company, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
After that, I headed off to see the world and worked all over the place, including building homes in Thailand after the Tsunami as a volunteer, working overlooking the Opera House in Sydney – and back to bar-tending, making cocktails in Darling Harbour.
When my feet hit the ground in Edinburgh I went looking for my previous employers, the Continis, who run Centotre. Luckily for me they had by then opened another small family-run Italian restaurant in Stockbridge.
They asked me to come on board and manage it for them, which I did with delight. This was the perfect challenge for me and I loved every minute of it. While managing a place that new was very challenging, it was what I wanted to do hands down.
When I moved to my next position at The Dome Restaurant it was for all the right reasons, wanting new experiences within a big operation to learn their procedures and a different management skill set. Hopefully I did this to the best of my ability and after 2 years working there, I felt the experience had given me enough management knowledge to move on.
The Continis seemed the next obvious step for me to progress as they had opened a new venue at the National Galleries in Edinburgh, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant (TSC). As a management position, this was perfect for me to try and show how passionate I am about our level of customer service, and the Love Happy Food ethos which the Continis live by.
Now 14 months later, managing this fantastic cafe and restaurant, we have won “best customer service award ” at the Scottish Restaurant Awards 2012, plus being finalised for a number of other prestigious awards. These acknowledgements within the industry and our customer feedback have made this position extremely rewarding and satisfying, knowing that we are achieving what we set out to do.
The journey I’m on within this management role is enabling me to fulfil the vision the Continis and I have for a very successful TSC. This is all part of my progression as a manager and is something that I am extremely proud of and am very much looking forward to doing for a very long time…
Here’s to a bright and successful future doing what I love very much!”
Manager, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant
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