pink sunset

Take your hospitality career to the countryside

Hazel Laughey our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 27 May 2021

Imagine working in a location where your equivalent of an office view is the rolling hills that make up the fine British countryside. Where you get to breathe in that fresh air and where your commute to work takes you through the winding country lanes. Sounds idyllic right? Well, that’s exactly what you can get with a job at Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) at one of our many locations tucked away in the more peaceful and tranquil spots across the UK.

In fact, that’s one of James Hicks’ favourite things about working at The Shy Horse in Chessington. As a General Manager at one of our charming country Vintage Inns pubs, James welcomes guests who are passing through from all over.

Read on to hear why James loves working in a rural location and why it could be the perfect spot to take your career:

1) Why did you join the company?

I was looking for a career in pubs and restaurants, and I knew the M&B brands well from going as a guest. I knew it would be a great place to work, and I recognised there was the potential to progress at M&B as long as I put the effort in.

I started 11 years ago in a sister pub as a kitchen porter doing Saturday shifts. Within two years, I was promoted to kitchen manager. Then I saw an opportunity to support the front of house (FOH) team, and before I knew it, I was an assistant manager. Since then, I’ve steadily built my FOH career and was appointed general manager this year.

2) What is the best thing about working in a beautiful rural area?

We get a lot of new faces passing through due to our location. There is nothing better for our guests than stopping for a nice hearty meal, sitting by a warm fire, and watching the sun go down over the hills. We're surrounded by nature and the countryside, making it the perfect spot to relax.

3) What does an average day at work look like for you?

I start by entering the business from the guests’ perspective. I stand in the car park and make sure my business looks great from the outside. I move to the inside and do the same. I light the fires so we get that warm cosy and warm feel, ensure the flowers look bright and welcoming on the tables, and then I welcome and brief the team when they arrive. We consider the business performance, talk about our daily specials, and I find out how their weeks are going. I will then float around the business, spot-checking the team, speaking to the guests, and always think about how I can inject some fun into the day. When it's time to leave, I take a minute to watch the sky turn pink as the sun dips over the hills behind the farm opposite.

4) What do you love most about your job?

I love passing my knowledge on to the team. After all, they’ll be running the show one day. I want to give as much guidance to our future leaders as I can, so they have everything they need to help the business succeed.

5) How do you spend your time when you're not at work?

I spend my time with my two children, who are five and eight years old. They keep me on my toes as we go hunting Pokémon and exploring nature.

6) Why would you recommend a job at M&B at any of our more rural locations?

Because they are surrounded by beauty – you might wake up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning, but then you see the view. We have so much nature around us. We get deer in the car park and gardens, hedgehogs that live in the bushes, and a robin that comes to say hello most days.

Are you ready to take your career to the country?

So, do you like the sound of working in one of our charming country locations? At Mitchells and Butlers, we have over 1,600 pubs, bars and restaurants scattered across the UK, meaning your local M&B business is closer than you might think. Browse our countryside jobs and check out the dos and don’ts when writing your hospitality CV for our top tips.

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