Career talk: Service and hospitality in the UK (webinar)

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A panel talk exploring different roles and routes into a career in hospitality in the UK. Liam Scandrett hosts a panel of expert speakers from a variety of hospitality roles.

Event details

Career panel talk

In the fifth panel talk of our online Career Talk series, we’re looking at roles in service and hospitality in the UK. We’ll be discussing the different roles that are involved in the successful operation of public facing environments such as bars and restaurants, the career options available to people in hospitality, and how to ensure you maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle in a role that is both physically and mentally demanding.

Hosted by WSET's Liam Scandrett, our panel of speakers will give an overview of the many and varied roles that are involved in the hospitality sector in the UK. They’ll discuss their own positions and other roles they work closely alongside and tell us how they got to where they are today. They’ll also explore the attributes and training needed to be successful and where to start if you are new to or keen to enter this area of the industry.

If you missed any of the previous career talks you can view the recordings here. 

Who is it for?

  • People starting out in their careers who are interested in what opportunities the drinks industry offers
  • Professionals from other industries considering a career change
  • Individuals already in the industry seeking inspiration to advance their careers

Please note that, as our speakers are UK-based, this talk will focus primarily on the UK hospitality trade. However we hope that the content will still be of interest to an international audience.  

Hosted by

Liam Scandrett
UK Business Development Manager - Spirits, WSET

Like many, Liam started in the drinks business casually, working in pubs from the age of 16. It was when travelling and working in Australia in his mid-twenties when his interest in hospitality and cocktail culture really took hold. Upon returning to the UK, he managed an independent cocktail bar and sushi restaurant in Farringdon, London and learnt about a selection of Japanese beverages and cuisines. He went on to tend bar at many high-end London events and parties, and once served an Espresso Martini to Gandalf (Ian McKellen)!

In 2012, he began working for a number of spirits brands on brand education, activation and drinks development. Always intrigued in the production processes and choices behind flavour in spirits, he studied with the WSET and began his role as UK Spirits Business Development Manager for WSET in 2016 in an aim to bring clear, unbiased and objective spirits education to the UK trade. He now manages all of the UK spirits focussed providers and works closely with WSET School London, Events and Digital Education to develop WSET Spirits business and partnerships. He has subsequently completed the Institute of Brewing & Distilling General Certificate in Distilling (Grain). He is particularly passionate about Scotch Whisky, Agave, Rum, Pisco, Honkaku Shochu & Awamori.

Sunaina Sethi
Operations Director/Wine Buyer, JKS Restaurants

Along with her brothers, Jyotin and Karam, Sunaina founded JKS Restaurants in 2008, which currently operates 15 brands in Central London. Sunaina oversees JKS’ Group Operations including the Beverage programme, People strategy and leads on charitable initiatives. She has a particular focus on Learning and Development, with her main aim to encourage growth and progression of all JKS staff. In 2017 she completed the WSET Level 4 Diploma and set up JKS Restaurants to become a WSET Approved Programme Provider in 2019. 

Tim Etherington-Judge
Founder, Healthy Hospo, Co-founder of Avallen Spirits and Lassou

Tim is a hospitality professional with more than 25 years’ experience at all levels of the industry - from tourist-spot coffee shop, to chef, award-winning bartender, bar manager and global ambassador for some of the world’s most recognisable brands.  As well as advising and consulting on sales and marketing, he has helped develop both new and established brands in this most competitive of sectors, including Bulleit American Whiskey, Ketel One Vodka and Johnnie Walker. 

After a severe mental health breakdown in 2016, Tim left Diageo to set up Healthy Hospo, his own not-for-profit company dedicated to building a healthier, happier hospitality industry around the world. His work in changing the conversation around health and wellness in the industry led to him being recognised as the 10th Most Influential Person in the Global Bar Industry in 2019.  

In May 2019 Tim followed his passion for sustainability and co-founded Avallen Spirits with former Diageo colleague Stephanie Jordan. Seeking to create the most planet positive spirits brand in the world, they launched Avallen Calvados as their product, to great acclaim from both trade and consumers alike. Avallen has been recognised with multiple awards including ‘Green Launch of the Year’ at the Drinks Business Green Awards as well as a Design Master at the Spirits Business Design & Innovation Awards and Worlds Best Speciality Calvados.

Gavin McGowan-Madoo
Director of Sales, UK Wholesale for Emporia Brands

Gavin started out at Wetherspoons when he was 19 and worked in pubs for about 4-5 years before starting in restaurants, the first notable one being Amaya Michelin Star restaurant in Knightsbridge in 2005, where he became Head Bartender. He worked at Corbin & King for four years from 2006-2010 at St Alban Restaurant where he worked his way up from bartender to Bar Manager before moving to the Wolseley where he held the role of Assistant Bar Manager.

He then joined Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as Opening Bar Manager and was there from 2010-2012. He later opened Duck and Waffle as General Manager from 2012-2013 and Shangri-La as Restaurant Manager of both Ting and Ting Lounge from 2013-2014.

Gavin joined Emporia Brands as England & Wales Sales Manager in 2014 and became Director of Sales in 2017.


Feel free to join with a glass of your choice! Let us know what you're tasting on Instagram:

@WSET_school_london  #WSETSchool  

If you enjoy the webinar, we would love to welcome you onto one of our WSET courses.