Hospitality legend John Wood shares experiences with Glion London
Industry visits and talks from guest speakers are an integral part of Glion education. We ensure you meet and hear from leading figures from the world of hospitality. These include John Wood, a Michelin-starred chef with over 35 years of experience at some of the world’s biggest restaurants and hotels. John spoke to our students at the London Hub on Thursday 23rd November, and offered key insight and advice.
A legendary career
John’s career has seen him work in a number of food and beverage positions. His determination saw him become the first English chef to work at the Hôtel Ritz Paris, after offering to work for free in exchange for experience. He has since worked at the Savoy Hotel, The Dorchester and The Grove, and cooked for the late Nelson Mandela. Additionally, he managed over 500 chefs and 37 restaurants for Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. These restaurants turned over half a million dollars a day in food alone.
John has conceptualized and opened nearly 70 restaurants during his career. He owns an international consultancy and recruitment company, which he launched in 2009.
John offered key advice to our students, including what will happen to the UK hospitality industry post-Brexit. “It’s going to be challenging,” he said. “Less people will want to come and work in the UK, and there will be an impact on cost, industry and operations.”
When it came to setting up a business, John also provided some key points. “Don’t do anything half-baked,” he said. “stick to either the high end, high cost, or bottom end, high volume. Have a ten-year plan of where you want to be, and work it backwards.”
What about when it comes to starting your career? “Names help you internationally,” John advised. “Look for instantly recognizable names and think about what you’re going to learn there.”