What was your favourite subject at school?
I mainly looked forward to the following at school. 4 PM, Weekends, School holidays. The one subject that I did enjoy was Basketball. The challenge and sportsmanship were drivers for me.
What was your first job?
Working on a dairy farm milking at the age of 12. The cash, early mornings and the fresh air suited me well from a young age. I still can be found in our factory in the early hours today.
Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?
I have had many great meals and stayed in some of the world’s best hotels and restaurants thanks to the hospitality industry. The one meal that sticks out was at Guy Savoy, Paris with the late David Dempsey from Amaryllis Glasgow.
How do you inspire your team?
My style has changed so much over the year’s. It used to be a stick. Then I added a Carrot to the end of it. Now I listen to my staff and understand their frustrations while giving guidance. “The answer is always Yes” has been my mantra that summed up what we needed to get the job done well. All my staff know that money is not my motivator and that I would give them the shirt off my back if they needed it more than me. As long as we have credibility in the marketplace we have a business that I am proud of.
Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?
Martin Wishart has always had my respect as a talented Chef, Family man, a good hardworking human being with a fantastic head for business.
How do you manage your stress levels?
It used to be 50 cigarettes a day, then Gin but now I understand that there is more to life than a late delivery or a wrong order and I have found peace with that. It’s a state of mind that my best is all we can ever give someone be it family, friends, customers, or staff.
Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – and why?
Twitter. It is the only one I have been shown how to use.
If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now?
I would be a farmer or driving an articulated lorry.
What did you do on your last days off?
I had a weekend relaxing with Family and Friends while eating and drinking far too much.
What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?
I understand that having a work life balance is vital to mine and my staff’s mental health. I now take weekend’s off, use my full holiday allocation, and I have my birthday off the same as every member of my staff no matter what day of the week it is. I enjoy my time with my grandchildren here in Scotland as well as visiting my daughter and grandchildren in Dubai. Children take you away from your day-to-day stresses and time with them is always good for my frame of mind and relaxation.