It is National Waiters’ Day, and as hospitality thankfully begins to reopen, we want to shine the spotlight on some amazing stories of growth from the RBH team. Waiters are the backbone of our industry and play a pivotal role in the delivery of exceptional standards, so now more than ever is the time to welcome the many voices of hospitality and give them the support they need to create a career for life.
The role of the waiter should never be underestimated, and the skill set that it both requires and teaches, sets up the foundation for progressing on a path towards management. At RBH, we have some fantastic examples of ex-waiters that now find themselves in top managerial positions.
Mark Winter, General Manager of Holiday Inn Express Barrow-in-Furness
Mark always wanted to become a teacher, but after working as a waiter at Ramside Hall Hotel, the chance to work with such a diverse range of people in the hospitality industry was hard to ignore. What he came to realise, after working 10 years in hospitality and becoming the youngest General Manager that RBH has had, was that hospitality is an education.
With training, Mark has seen young people rising to senior positions they would have never thought would be achievable, diminishing the perception that hospitality is a job and not a career. Taking the steps to sign the Hotelier’s Charter, his team will turn their thoughts and opinions into initiatives, counteracting the myth that hospitality is just long hours and low wages.
After such a long time in the industry, Mark sees himself as more of a coach than a ‘manager’. He regularly gives talks to schoolchildren and sixth formers as living proof that hospitality is an opportunity to learn adaptability, resilience, and strength without needing formal qualifications, and with those set of skills an incredible career is in reach.
Stephen Harron, Divisional Director of RBH
After finishing school, Stephen was unsure of what step he wanted to take next. When his mother first suggested that he tried getting a job as a waiter, he started working in a local Belfast nightclub, without thinking too much about where it could take him.
Tact, diplomacy, patience, and an understanding of how to talk to people are all qualities that Stephen believed he first learnt during his first job as a waiter.
His role as nightclub waiter led to wine waiter at his first hotel position, which grew to trainee manager, giving him experience to accept his first general manager role at Moat House Hotels with IHG and now to Divisional Director at RBH.
Without his first experience as a waiter, Stephen thinks he would not be able to truly understand the practicalities of being a manager.
Even after such an impressive path, Stephen still has a passion for waiting and bartending. Up until the first government restrictions of last year, he was still serving drinks at his local village hall. Being a waiter remains his favourite role to date.