Working hard paid off for me and for my Employees

Why working hard paid off for me and for my employees by Rick Jones, owner of The Water Rat & Valentino’s

“I started my first business when I was in my early 20’s. I always wanted to run my own business and when a friend called me to say that The Water Rat was on the market I researched it and created a business plan. 15 years later the business has grown from strength to strength and what started as myself and a chef is now a team of over 20 and 2 sites. The other being a restaurant that I converted to be a hotel as well. This restaurant is the restaurant that I got one of my first jobs in at the age of 15 cooking.”

“My success is based on a number of factors, I was surrounded by strong caring family and friends who supported me in my success, failures and just when the world was getting a bit tough. I always had excellent employers who shared their knowledge with me that I absorbed . At the age of 16 as well as being a chef I was also a Saturday assistant at Johnsons Dry cleaners. I did not just cover the counter I actively learnt how to use the presses, the management and the cleaning processes of clothes. This meant that when I passed my driving test I was paid by the company during my school holidays to travel to different sites and assist in the running of them as I was multi skilled in all areas. At Valentino’s I learnt the Front of House, how to butcher and how to run the pass. By pushing to learn and develop I was laying foundations for myself in gaining these skill sets.

I encourage all of my staff to learn as much as they can. They then become more confident in their jobs, themselves and how they communicate. Whether you are just looking for some pocket money or to save your money. You will get more out of pushing and learning at work than you will just turning up for a paycheck. As employers we want to engage with our students. Many of my employees have grown in confidence and are constantly achieving because of the foundations they received through working.”

These are the opportunities we hope to put you in touch with via the Ripon Apprenticeship & Training Hub.