What is it that draws people to the hospitality sector? Is it its fast-paced nature? Its diverse mix of people and cultures? Its social community? Or maybe the fact that it never sleeps? Each worker has their reasons and let's face it, at times, it can even be the mere convenience of needing a job – quickly.
University students tend to fit this mould of “convenience” and as a result, the sector has been tackling the stigma of being an industry full of stop-gap work. However, there are a huge number of “veterans” working in hospitality who have developed a love for the industry that stretches beyond simple entices such as ‘diversity’ and ‘convenience’.
The fact is, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
As GIG’s Seeker of the month and winner of our £50 Amazon voucher, we decided to sit down with hospitality veteran, Juan, to find out why he decided to get into hospitality, how he’s built his career and why flexible working has become an integral part of his life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Juan but people call me Louie, I’m Spanish but love living here in London and I also love cooking and the ocean. I enjoy the simple things in life, such as walking my dog along the beach back home in Spain but I also enjoy travelling and meeting new people. I came to London three years ago to improve my English, build my career and stay closer to my Godson.
What made you get into the hospitality industry?
It was a long time ago but it came after hearing about it from friends. It was a social thing to start with and I was also young and needed a job! But it’s grown into much more than that.
Once I was working in a professional kitchen, I was hooked. It’s grown with my love for cooking and my push to become a chef. I’ve worked as a cook before and currently work as a kitchen porter but I’m always learning and growing in the kitchen.
What made you want to forge a career in hospitality?
Its fast-paced nature keeps me on my toes, which I love, and the team environment means I’m always meeting new people learning new things. But a huge reason is that it helped me find my passion for cooking food, especially seafood.
Why did you decide to choose GIG to find work?
A friend actually recommended it to me as a way to work whenever it suited me. It allows me to manage my time so I can see my godson, explore London and visit my family back in Spain where I can breathe that fresh sea air.
What’s been your favourite place/venue to work with through GIG?
To be honest I don’t have a favorite place/venue but I do enjoy working in City of London Club and at the Aloft Excel.
What are your big plans for 2019?
To continue growing and become a certified chef. That’s one of the biggest benefits of the industry, you’re constantly learning and growing. I also want to perfect my English and see more of London!
Want to become GIG’s next Seeker of the Month? Don’t forget to check out our Top Tips page and rate your experiences!