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Stephen Montgomery

Scottish Hospitality Group

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

I think my favorite subject at school was music. I was always musical and learning to play instruments, and when I got to the year of choosing my subjects, I was the only one to choose music, but it led me on to a great start in my career when I joined the army as a musician.

  • What was your first job?

My first job as a youngster of 13 was working at a local filling station filling cars up with fuel and weighing potatoes into bags for the shop.

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

This is a hard one. Being involved in SHG, it has brought me to lots of lovely places, so keeping it in Scotland I would say Cameron House for my favourite hotel, and the Andrew Fairlie restaurant in Gleneagles

  • How do you inspire your team

I think in many ways my team inspires me. They amaze me with their smiles and laughs. I never put myself onto the rota, and when I’m not doing SHG stuff I love getting involved in the kitchen whether that’s cooking or washing the dishes and going behind the bar. The old saying of “never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself”, is something I have lived by.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

Hospitality is an amazing sector, and I have met so many truly wonderful and inspirational people, especially since we started the Scottish Hospitality Group. I think Kenny Blair, Nic Wood, and Mario Gizzi from our steering group are outstanding, but Fred Sirieix is someone I have admired and aspired to for a long time with his passion for the sector.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

Most would say I live on stress, which is never a good thing, but my passion for the sector and the issues (and positives) we have, drive me every day, however it has often been seen where my wife Sharon comes into the office and says “right, come on, time for a long walk on the beach with the dog” ….. We are often the creators of our own stress because of the job we do, so its important to understand when you need that time out and understanding you can’t make everything right…. even though you want to

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

A mixture of Twitter and Facebook. I use Twitter for all our SHG messaging along with Linkedin, but on a personal level I’m a Facebooker, but only because that’s where most of my friends are.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now?

I’m not sure, but some would say I should have chosen a path in politics. It’s hard to see a career outside hospitality now, apart from maybe a bit of consultancy work.

  • What did you do on your last days off?

Met an old army friend who I hadn’t seen for many years. We pulled up a sandbag and shared a few good old stories.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

I love my football, so I’m usually found in the terrace, but walking, visiting my family and going out to find new restaurants is usually my way of looking after me.