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What was your worst job? Sam Harrison Proprietor, Sam's Brasserie and Harrison's, London

18 May 2010
What was your worst job? Sam Harrison Proprietor, Sam's Brasserie and Harrison's, London

What was your worst job?
As part of my placement year from Oxford Brookes University I spent a month working at a tourist trap pub in Oxford. Having just done six months at Chewton Glen hotel, it was something of an eye-opener.

The contrast in terms of product provided could not have been more different. However, I think it was actually really good for me to experience both places and I believe you learn from all jobs.

What was so bad about it? As someone who was beginning to develop a passion for delivering great food and fantastic service, on night one I was shown how to use the microwave to prepare all dishes. All the food was described as home-cooked, but was prepared off-site and then reheated to order. There was also a complete lack of management - a very young team was left to get on with it, which was great fun, but total chaos.

What did you learn from the job? I learned about serving a lot of customers in a very short period of time. I would do 300 covers on a busy weekend lunch.

Also, it was one of my first experiences of working in a really big team and it taught me a lot about the dynamics of making this work and the importance of strong leadership and management.

What do you enjoy most about your current role? I love that every day is different; you never know quite what is going to happen. I also enjoy building a strong team around me and developing together as my restaurants grow.

What's next? I am beginning to work on some ideas for a third site and seeing what is out there. I think there are areas of London where a Sam's Brasserie/Harrison's-style operation could work… well, I hope so!

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