Raymond Blanc keynote speaker at Emerging Talent event in Glasgow
By Dave Hunter
SUCCESS in the hospitality industry was the hot topic when renowned chef Raymond Blanc addressed a conference of hospitality professionals in Glasgow recently.
Speaking at the tenth annual HIT Scotland Emerging Talent Conference, Blanc, whose Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons hotel near Oxford has two Michelin Stars, highlighted some of the challenges he has faced in his own career, and what he reckons it takes to be successful in the restaurant industry.
“It’s about talent and working hard,” said Blanc.
“All the great leaders of the world – the political world, the music world, the art world, whatever it might be – they are talented, yes, but they work twice as hard as the other guy as well.
“Success is not just about talent. It’s about a strong work ethic.”
Other speakers at the event – held at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on February 6 – included Josh Littlejohn, founder of Edinburgh sandwich shop Social Bite. A ‘social business’, Social Bite employs a number of former homeless people and donates all of its profits to charity.
Delegates at the HIT Scotland conference took part in workshops throughout the day, and the event concluded with the awarding of 152 separate scholarships to up-and-coming individuals in the Scottish hospitality industry.
Scholars hailed from across Scotland, and work for a range of hotels, pubs and restaurant businesses; the scholarships themselves range from time spent in top kitchens and hotels in the UK to trips overseas – including courses at the Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland.
HIT Scotland chief executive, David Cochrane, said it is more important than ever that hospitality staff are well trained.
“People have to be well trained, have to be well developed,” he said.
“You’ve got to get the right people, and if you have the right people then it has huge business benefits. Recruitment and retention has now become very important.”