Jump to main content

James's Journey from an Assistant Manager to a Learning & Development Manager

Kat  Ross our consultant managing the role
Author Kat Ross

Snippet Title

James’ incredible journey at Greene King started in 2013 when he saw an exciting opportunity in the growth of Hungry Horse pubs. With his background in hospitality, he felt well-equipped for success with Greene King. He applied for an Assistant Manager role at his local Hungry Horse pub and got the job, setting the stage for his impressive career.

In 2014, James advanced to a Designate Manager for Local Pubs working with managers in Sheffield and Leeds to enhance his skills. Although, his journey didn’t stop there. James’ passion for simplifying complex systems led to his role as a Retail Systems Trainer in 2019.

His current role as a Franchise Learning and Development Manager allows him to guide a team and contribute to Greene King’s franchise pub growth, embodying Greene King’s commitment to nurturing talent and seizing opportunities.


Snippet Title

Back in 2013 the growth of Hungry Horse Pubs seemed like an exciting venture, and I believed the skills & knowledge I had already acquired in the hospitality sector would allow me to thrive with Greene King.

I applied for a vacant Assistant Manager role at my local Hungry Horse Pub and was successfully appointed.


Snippet Title

I started my career with Greene King in 2013 as Assistant Manager at the Ashley Hotel Hungry Horse in Worksop. Here I learnt the ropes of pub management balancing excellent customer service standards with supporting a great team and maintaining financial controls.

Hungry for my own business, in 2014 I was appointed as a Designate Manager for Local Pubs where I had the opportunity to work with some of Greene King's great managers in the Sheffield & Leeds area giving me the opportunity to sharpen my skills and learn new ones. Eventually, I was appointed to the Ancient Foresters as General Manager in Wibsey Bradford.  During my time here we achieved record-breaking weekly and daily sales along with great guest measures and stock controls.

I took a particular interest in the power of teamwork and how important supportive training can be. With this in mind I decided to join the Integration team in 2016 as Implementation Manager. Our task for the next few years was to visit every pub throughout the combined Spirit and Greene King managed estate to align all our back office support systems to one way of working for both Spirit sites and legacy GK sites. This was a great journey being able to train existing Greene King systems from my Pub knowledge and learn new systems & processes to train from the Spirit estate.

In 2019 I started a newly developed role as Retail Systems Trainer with IT. As a team of 5, we were responsible for all systems training across the managed division from running systems training days on General Manager induction to bespoke courses for Kitchen Managers and Assistant Managers along with onsite support visits.

Over the years I realised I had a real passion for taking what can sometimes be complex systems and simplifying the training. However, I also wanted to learn more about the support and problem-solving side of IT. In 2021 I took on the role of Retail Systems Support Analyst within IT. In this role, no two days were the same. While still supporting systems training, I also had the opportunity to work with external suppliers and the wider IT team to support pubs by resolving any problems and or issues they may have with their back-office systems.

Finally, in 2022 I saw a role advertised in Pub Partners for a Franchise Learning & Development Manager; this was an opportunity too good to miss. This is my current role and allows me to support a team of 4 fantastic, knowledgeable trainers and an amazing L&D franchise coordinator while we work closely with Franchise Operations, Property and Marketing as we grow our Franchise pub estate through significant investments. We look after new Franchisee Inductions, on-site training during the handover and launch period & ongoing training and development for the Franchisees and their teams. 


Snippet Title

Throughout the years in a training role, this has allowed me to naturally ask questions and learn more about each brand in Greene King to provide better support. This could be from menus, drink range to target demographics & service style. I have always been hungry for knowledge with a desire to learn every bit of detail and I can confidently say with every previous role I have acquired new skills and knowledge that has helped me with the following role. For example my time spent learning about different Greene King brands on the Integration project really supported me as a Retail Systems Trainers as I was already aware of how each different Greene King brand operated.


Snippet Title

Greene King has allowed me the freedom to figure out what I enjoy doing and pursue that passion, while helping me to network with wider teams, build great relationships and surround myself with people that know the answer.

What is your favourite thing about working in hospitality?

Snippet Title

Customer Service has always been the most satisfying thing for me, whether that's providing quality food and drink for our Guests, delivering great Training & Support for our Pub Managers and their teams or collaborating with Marketing, Operations, Recruitment, IT and Property to overcome challenges and support each other to deliver amazing results.

What would you say to someone considering a career at Greene King?

Snippet Title

I have had an incredible journey with Greene King over the last 10 years, the company has helped me understand my potential and supported me in achieving it every step of the way. 

It's important to challenge yourself throughout your career but equally important to have a company like Greene King behind you to support you on your journey to success.

Kat  Ross our consultant managing the role
Author Kat Ross


Quick search