Our intern, Hunor: The Wolseley
Hunor Vásárhelyi joined us from the Budapest Business School during his four-month internship as a Senior Waiter at The Wolseley. We ask him how he got on and what he will take away from the experience.
"From the first day I stepped into the office, I found everyone so welcoming - it was just like a family. The amount of help I got was really quite something, I was a bit shocked actually…! Nowhere else have I been treated like I have been here. It's wonderful."
Tell us a little about how you came to do an internship at The Wolseley?
I'm currently studying Hospitality at the Budapest Business School and during your last term you have to complete a 720-hour long internship. It doesn't matter where, the only criteria is that the place you work has to have a kitchen, so it could be in a hotel, restaurant or so on.
I knew that I didn't want to do my internship at home in Budapest, so I applied for various jobs abroad and I was contacted by the Personnel & Development team at Corbin & King and here I am!
How did you know about The Wolseley?
Oh I didn't know anything about The Wolseley initially. I wasn't aware of what an incredible reputation it has here...
And how have you found it?
I absolutely love it. The first few weeks are of course an adjustment and the restaurant can be crazy busy sometimes, but now that I'm used to it it's lovely. I've never worked in such a huge restaurant before but a few months down the line I feel very settled and very comfortable here.
What aspect do you enjoy the most?
When I know the customers are satisfied and I've been able to help contribute to their satisfaction, their happiness… Even if it's just momentarily. I love working with people and interacting.
Would you recommend it to others?
Of course I would. Being at The Wolseley has taught me so much including practical things that I didn't know before… It's given me huge experience.
Would you consider working here full time?
Funny you ask… I actually am planning to come back to The Wolseley in September after I graduate to work here full time. I've enjoyed it enough to want to come back!
Is working in hospitality a good first step on the career ladder?
I do think it is, yes. I think it's a very good starting point especially if you don't know what you want to do, a bit like me. I've no clue really what I want to do long term but I've so enjoyed the experience here and learnt so much that it seems like a sensible next step. It teaches you about patience and handling tough situations. And of course it gives you knowledge about food, good service, lots of things.
And how have you found working for Corbin & King?
From the first day I stepped into the office, I found everyone so welcoming - it was just like a family. The amount of help I got was really quite something, I was a bit shocked actually…! Nowhere else have I been treated like I have been here. It's wonderful.
Do you have any memorable moments from your time here?
Many! I remember one time, there was a table of important guests and I was serving them wine but the bottle slipped from my hand… I caught it just in time but some of the wine spilt on the table. They were so understanding and after their meal they thanked me for the wonderful service. I thought to myself, if that is wonderful service then I'm glad! Even though I made a mistake, they still enjoyed themselves.
How did you find the training Corbin & King gave you?
It was very comprehensive. It consisted of two weeks of training - the first week being more theoretical. And then once you're on the restaurant floor, I had my trainer with me - we all have a trainer assigned to us initially and they show you everything. That was really good.
Have you been to any of the other Corbin & King restaurants?
I've been to Zédel and to Soutine for the soft opening… I loved Soutine; it's such a small restaurant compared to here; the food was lovely and the service was great.
Since I started working in hospitality, I've also changed the way I am as a customer as I know what's going on behind the scenes. I'm more helpful and try to make the waiters' job as easy as I can.
Finally, what advice would you give to those wanting to go into hospitality?
I would definitely recommend doing an internship as it's a great way to learn… If it's your first time in hospitality, I'd recommend gaining experience in slightly smaller, more familiar restaurants like Fischer's and Soutine. I had some hospitality background so I wasn't completely lost when starting at a large restaurant such as The Wolseley… and it's been wonderful.