Hot Shots: Two pub industry rising stars

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Hot Shots: Two pub industry rising stars

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Hot Shots is the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s new initiative to recognise young and upcoming individual working in the trade; from those running pubs to business ops specialists. Here we profile two more people nominated as rising stars.

Christopher Chester-Sterne, owner, Rose and Thistle, Rockbourne, Hampshire


How did you end up in your current role?

At the age of 17 I worked in a boutique hotel as a waiter and ended up doing three different apprenticeships and started an HND in hospitality. By the time I left I was front of house manager. I then joined a hotel with a Michelin star restaurant; my circumstances changed, quite fortunately, when I was 21 and I managed to buy the freehold of the Rose & Thistle.

What does your role involve?

I’m hands on and oversee everything as we don’t have a full-time manager. I do the accounts, drinks orders, help out with menu writing and physically run the pub.

What’s your biggest challenge?

For me personally is getting the balance right and managing my time; I take on a lot. For the pub it’s ensuring consistency - keeping the quality and service up.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?

Fake it until you make it. One of the villagers told me that at the beginning when I took over. It’s all about confidence; if you’re not confident in front of your staff and customers then they won’t believe in you.

How have you made a positive difference?

I wouldn’t ask somebody to do a job that I wouldn’t do myself – I think people respect that. Customers have commented that we’ve taken the pub to the next level. I have a list of all my regular guests and their special requirements so it makes them feel valued.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I’d like to buy another two pubs. In 10 years I’d like to buy a hotel.

How can the trade attract young people?

All of our staff are offered an apprenticeship if they want. Training in the workplace should be an option that is advertised more especially for those, who like myself, didn’t get on with college.

Lineup confirmed for our Pub Skills Summit

Skills minister, Nick Boles MP, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for our upcoming Pub Skills Summit on July 5. He will be joined on the bill by representatives of award winning employers New World Trading Company, Oakman Inns, Fuller's and Star Pubs & Bars. Visit​ for further information and a full list of speakers.

Edward Hackland, chef/owner, the Waggon at Halam, Nottinghamshire


How did you end up in your current role?

After I finished college I went to learn pastry in London but the city didn’t agree with me. I was offered a chef de partie position at a pub; that job saved me as I was looking for something new. It gave me the opportunity to get where I am today.

What does your role involve?

I cost, write and plan all the menus and work closely with the owners to arrange events and themed nights. I’m responsible for a team of three in the kitchen.

What’s your career highlight to date?

I took over the pub earlier this year. I plan to improve the outside dining area and hope to put some sort of beer garden in the field.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?

Never undersell what you do; stick to what you believe in and do it well. A couple of my old head chefs instilled that in me. My food has helped the pub go from strength to strength.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

Our kitchen is tiny and we’ve been struggling for chefs since last year. We’re in a rural location with very little public transport. It would be very easy to slip down the route of microwaving food but we don’t. We make everything in house and work hard.

How have you made a positive difference?

I’ve trained my sous chef - seeing him through his Professional Cookery Level 3. He passed with flying colours. I like the fact people come here for food and the very positive feedback we receive.

Why should people consider the trade as a career choice?

It’s such a rewarding job if you find the right place to work.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

We’ll be coming to the end of our lease so, depending on how well the pub goes, we’ll be looking at signing on again or maybe look at taking on something bigger.

Are you a hot shot?

  • Do you run your own successful pub, work for a pubco or supplier to the trade?
  • Are you making a positive difference?
  • Are you aged 30 or under and looking to boost your profile?

Email for details on how to get involved

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