will from m&b in his taxi

Will’s journey from the Armed Forces to M&B

Will’s journey from the Armed Forces to M&B

Rebecca Skeet our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 05/06/2024

At M&B, we value diverse backgrounds and experiences as they shape the exceptional leaders who inspire our teams. 

Ahead of Armed Forces Day 2024, which will be celebrated on Saturday 29th June this year, we wanted to share the inspiring story of Will, a seasoned veteran in our ranks.

Will shares his remarkable journey from the armed forces to a thriving career at Mitchells & Butlers. 

We delve into the invaluable lessons learned, the transition from military discipline to hospitality excellence, and more. 

Could you paint us a picture of how your story began with M&B?

"My journey with M&B kicked off a good decade ago, following a stint as Operations Director at Marston’s. 

Starting out as Ops Director for O'Neill's, I soon found myself at the helm of Nicholson's Pubs. My roots in hospitality trace back to my grandfather's brewery (Morland) where I spent many weeks doing work experience whilst at school and university, instilling in me a deep-seated love for the industry." 

Transitioning from the armed forces to hospitality must have been quite the journey. What was that experience like?

"It was indeed an adventure. The military taught me structure, self-discipline and leadership, qualities that transferred nicely in the hospitality industry. 

I started my hospitality career working for Pizza Hut. I joined the business on a management scheme that saw me working through all the roles from making pizzas to serving pizza and finally running a restaurant. From there I was given a small number of restaurants to run. One of the things I learned pretty quickly as an area manager was that a diverse team is a great team because you make far more rounded decisions. 

Those decisions might not always be straightforward, but that makes for a better decision and a more inclusive decision and a better outcome.”

Imagine you're pitching a career in hospitality to someone fresh from the armed forces. What key perks would you highlight?

“You don't really have to have any qualifications to do what we do, but you just have to be able to apply yourself. If you get given an opportunity, give it your all and you never know where you're going to end up.

Hospitality mirrors the camaraderie of the military, thriving on teamwork and diverse talents. 

Leading teams towards a common goal are akin to the leadership ethos ingrained in the armed forces.”

Now, let's turn our attention to your involvement with charity work. What spurred your engagement with these causes?

"Social Bite's commitment to combating homelessness struck a chord with me, aligning perfectly with our ethos of giving back. Witnessing first hand the impact of homelessness, especially on former servicemen, ignited my passion for driving change.

In general, I've always been driven by the importance of charity work. Seeing how organisations can help to transform lives motivates me to support various initiatives, from providing physical shelter to offering employment opportunities. It’s about making a tangible difference in the community and extending a helping hand to those in need."

Recently, you embarked on a unique fundraiser. Care to share your experience and the ripple effect it created?

"Spending a night in a doorway at Ye Olde Watling was a humbling yet enlightening experience. 

It drove home the harsh reality of homelessness, fostering empathy and solidarity. 

The fundraiser's success highlighted the power of working together and taking individual action."

We can help you transition from the Armed Forces to a career in hospitality

Will's journey embodies resilience, adaptability, and a deep-seated commitment to social causes - values that resonate deeply within the M&B family. 

His transition from the armed forces to M&B serves as a testament to our commitment to helping our Servicemen and women with their career transition and employment needs. 

Our team members can gain experience similar to Will’s by becoming reservists in the Armed Forces, a commitment that we fully support as an organisation.

By embracing inclusivity, structured leadership, and proactive engagement, people like Will shape a brighter future, both within our company and the communities we serve. 

Learn more about our commitment to the Armed Forces community.

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