Motivational Masterclass Stirs Up Hospitality Staff


Motivational Masterclass Stirs Up Hospitality Staff

More than 25 hospitality staff joined the National Coastal Tourism Academy’s first Masterclass to hear Bournemouth entrepreneur James Fowler reveal his rise from humble smoothie vendor to owning a sell-out, fine-dining restaurant and winning the 2014 World Class UK Bartender of the Year.

Aimed at inspiring industry staff to fast-track their careers to the top, the Masterclass is the first in a series staged by the NCTA as part of a UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) project tracking hospitality staff career progression and retention.

James charted his career path to the audience while his 19-year old protégé Cameron concocted a bespoke cocktail, The Lady and the Lamp serving it in a smoke-filled glass cloche complete with miniature light.

“Hospitality is all about making changes, making things better. So this cocktail is based on the traditional White Lady but with a twist,” he explained.

“We’re in the business of caring for people, they come into our restaurant after work, we’re there to add to their day. The world of hospitality is huge, it’s not just about standing behind a bar - it opens doors to travel the world, you can get a job anywhere.”

He stressed the enormous scope the hospitality industry offers.

“This isn’t a 9-5pm job but that means you have free time when others don’t. And there are so many advantages. This industry gives the opportunity to be creative, its flexible – you have the chance to move around in different roles. You can gain responsibility very early on and leap-frog your way to the top fast.”

James pointed out that he had no formal training as a bartender, but his passion for food and drink had driven him.

“I don’t just want to serve drinks, I want to see how and where they’re made. Entering the Bartender of the Year award has given me paid-for global travel – New York, Sweden, Ireland, Hong Kong. This business offers huge opportunities to succeed.”

After the class, 95 per cent of delegates said they felt more motivated and inspired. Comments included:

“It’s amazing to see really motivated people, I am now going to work on our cocktail menu, make it seasonal and give our chef some new ideas”, “I now plan to open my unique coffee shop” and “I am going to take service to the next level”.

As part of the UKCES project, the NCTA is staging three further Masterclasses presented by the owner and chef of a successful cookery school, the owner of Dorset’s first Michelin-starred restaurant and a motivational speaker who drives teams to reach their full potential.

“The challenges of low pay, slow career progression and staff retention have plagued the hospitality industry for decades,” explains Jason Freezer, NCTA Interim Director.

“This UKCES project tackles these issues head-on. There are scores of examples of people who’ve started their hospitality and tourism careers at entry-level and climbed to the top, scoring top management jobs and good salaries.

“These classes are aimed at showcasing what’s on offer – the chance to open your own business, experience different roles, travel the world, be your own boss – we want to motivate staff to fast-track their career and enjoy real job satisfaction.”


Notes to editors: The NCTA’s FastTrack project is part of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Department for Work and Pensions’ UK Futures Programme. Over 18 months, a dedicated NCTA Project Officer is working with six Dorset hotels testing the service-profit chain which has proved successful in the retail industry. The programme aims to help improve recruitment, induction and employee engagement with the business.

For further information and images, please contact Sheron Crossman, NCTA Marketing and Communications Manager, or tel: 01202 962565.