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The Caterer

Anthony Worrall – My Life in Hospitality

19 August 2010 by
Anthony Worrall – My Life in Hospitality

Anthony Worrall is the general manager of the Trafalgar hotel, London.

Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, to an Italian mother and English father, Anthony Worrall has loved his career in the hospitality industry for the opportunity it has provided him to bring pleasure to people. "That really is what this industry is all about," says Worrall, who was appointed to his current position in May.

"I've also enjoyed the enormous variety of jobs I've been able to do, from sales and marketing to food and beverage, as well as helping in the development of staff."

Two work placement stints while studying hotel management at Leeds Polytechnic - one at London's Cumberland hotel and the other at the Royal Berkshire hotel in Ascot - gave Worrall his first taste of luxury hotels, providing him with a target for his future career.

However, his first job following his studies was as restaurant manager at the Lakeside Galleries in Bingley, before he spent two-and-a-half years working as a waiter in the fine-dining restaurants on board the Canberra and the QE2.

"Working on cruise ships teaches you three key skills: stamina, ability and consistency. And, of course, I got to see the world. I was lucky to be able to merge my love of travel with working in the industry that I loved."

Worrall and his future wife, Stephanie, whom he met at sea, then decided to live in the USA, where he worked as food and beverage manager at the Howard Johnson hotel in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for nearly a year, before returning to the UK in 1993.

Worrall's first job back on this side of the Atlantic was at the Milton Keynes Hotel & Conference Centre, which was subsequently acquired by Hilton. And so began a 17-year career with the global hotel company, which is still going strong today.

Over the years he has worked in a variety of roles, including in sales and revenue, as general manager and director of operations, from Hilton Southampton in the South to Hilton York in the North, as well as a host of hotels in between.

Until May, Worrall worked as director of operations at Europe's largest conference and meetings hotel, the Hilton London Metropole, which hosts some 2,500 events each year and has 1,054 bedrooms.

HIGHS… Worrall has enjoyed every job he has had with Hilton, but one of his best times was at the Hilton London Metropole when he organised the European General Managers Conference for Hilton Worldwide. "It was a huge experience, which involved eight months of planning for the three-and-a-half-day event."

Arriving at the Trafalgar, the only Hilton Worldwide property in the UK that is not branded, has also been a high. "I think the hotel suits me, and I suit it very well as we both have individuality, flair and personality," he says. "Since arriving it has been a joy to help develop and open our rooftop bar, Vista, which has magnificent views over Trafalgar Square, the London Eye and Big Ben. It has quickly become a sought-after destination in the capital and I believe could become one of the top sky bars in the world."

LOWS… Living through a hurricane while in Florida made Worrall and his wife realise how far away from home and their families they were. "But when we were on the cruise ships we had seen them often, as we regularly sailed back to the UK between cruises," he explains.

"It was very frightening and made us feel vulnerable. On the plus side, we returned home and started planning our wedding."

Family Married, two sons, aged 12 and 10
Age 39
Favourite holiday Montemiletto, the small village in southern Italy where my mother comes from; or St Lucia with my wife, Stephanie
Drives Saab convertible
Motto Work very hard and play very hard

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