Little did I realise while working as a waiter back in the late 1970s that one day I’d share a stage with the best in the business, albeit as a presenter. This happened again during a delightful evening at The Berkeley Hotel in London for a celebration of the prestigious Gold Service Scholarship and a proper ‘thank you’ to its generous sponsors. Picture shows winners from 2015, ’14 and ’13 along with finalists and some of the many supporters.
This was one of several engagements recently at which I had agreed to give a speech, act as compere or auctioneer. It has become an adjunct to my day job, to the point where I was greeted the other evening with the words “ah…here comes rent-a-gob” which was a little unfair because my services were being given free of charge on that occasion.
Among the speakers at The Berkeley was Philip Newman-Hall who also began his working life as a waiter and has gone on to run a famous five star hotel. His message was clearly aimed at parents and teachers when he told his audience that hospitality is one of the best industries to work in and, if you’re any good, you can expect to rise quickly up the ladder. It deserves to be seen not as a last resort, but as a first choice of career.