“I went from a glass collector to a general manager of a thriving and successful business. Oh, and I’ve got a few stories to tell.”
Sitting back proudly at a table set ready for lunch is Sam the general manager of The White Horse in Richmond, telling me stories about his ten year pub adventure…
Sam’s career in the hospitality sector started whilst he was studying for a Higher National Diploma in Film. Like pretty much every other student in the world Sam needed more cash, so he started working as a part-time glass collector, down at his local in Cornwall. Little did he know his pocket moneymaking job was just four career steps away from managing a successful and thriving business!
After learning all of the basics Sam achieved a promotion and became a full-time bartender. At that exact moment he fell in love with the pub and bar sector and his career course took a turn.
“I don’t really feel like I’m missing out when my friends moan about waking up at 7.00am day in and day out for their commutes and office jobs” Sam jokes. “The forever changing schedule and lifestyle that a career in pubs and bars allows me to have really is something special.
“I don’t know of any other line of work where you meet so many like-minded people, make so many lifelong friends and enjoy yourself along the way!” Sam added in an accomplished and mischievous tone. I only had to take one look around at the vibrant pub that he calls home; to know that he speaks sense.
Hooked on the industry, Sam knew exactly where he wanted his career to take him and where he wanted to take his career; he packed his bags and left for London, falling into the arms of Fuller Smith & Turner PLC.
Starting at Fuller’s as a bartender Sam worked his way up to bar supervisor; then on to assistant manager and finally to his current position as a general manager at the very striking and rather beautiful White Horse.
“Fuller’s is an amazing business to work for. The company have provided me with so many successful role models, a whole load of friends, training courses and big opportunities. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve such career progression if I was still stuck in my old local in the country – or have half as many stories to tell!
Sam added: “Our open mic nights attract big rock ‘n’ roll names to our stage for a jam. In recent times we have had some really big bands use the pub after recording at the studio just down the road, Band of Skulls and Kasabian , just to name a couple”
In his managerial role Sam has the freedom to project his personality into the business. He states that the main aspect of his day-to-day life that he really enjoys is making every customer, no matter who they are, feel welcome, at home and happy to be in his pub!
Sam’s career has not quite reached its pinnacle yet, oh no, he has aspirations of managing a larger site and then even owning his own pub, bar or cafe.
“Anyone considering a career in a pub or bar should just DO IT! It is genuinely fun. I cannot emphasise how much you will enjoy the business, the flexible hours, the great tips and the fantastic food that is served. It is great it is to be a part of the huge hospitality family.”
So, Sam works in a gastro pub. Could you imagine yourself pulling pints, writing rotas or dealing with customers there? Maybe at a Wine Bar? Or maybe even in a Circus Pub? Watch this space for the next #ThisCouldBeYou interview.