Behind the scenes with Warwick Collins, our Floor Manager

First joining The Wolseley more than 15 years ago, Warwick is our Floor Manager and a familiar face to many. Here, he shares more about his passion for working front of house.

How did you get into hospitality?

After finishing high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but after a long debate with my mother I decided to go into hospitality. My family has always been very sociable and we love hosting friends and family at home. I was actually accepted at chef school, and I also could have gone into hospitality management. I do like to cook and enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but I know that my passion is front of house, looking after customers and ensuring they have the best possible experience. I wanted to experience hospitality and learn as much as possible – something you never stop doing in this industry.

What does a typical day look like for you as Floor Manager?

I mainly work mornings, but over the years I have worked a mix of shifts. Every service is different, and you learn something new every day. I don’t live in London, so I commute into work from Essex. Once I’m on the train I check all the booking notes for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea to make sure we don’t miss any special requests from customers. When I get to work, I make sure everything is ready for the day and set up correctly. Then we have a briefing before doors open at 7am with all the staff, and I also check in with relevant departments to deal with any issues and discuss the day ahead.

Breakfast can be a complicated service, but I enjoy it the most – it’s a good mix of business and pleasure which makes it more interesting. After lunch service I’m in the office to do some admin and my reports for the day, and I’ll also begin prepping for the next day. As a manager I also have a responsibility to look after staff. We all have assigned mentees who we look after during service, providing as much support as needed.

Warwick Collins is our Floor Manager at The Wolseley

What’s your favourite thing about working at The Wolseley?

What I love the most is our customers. Every person is unique and we have many loyal customers that return all the time – even on a daily basis – and I have built many great relationships with our customers over the years. Some I can even call friends! I think I also have to mention this is one of the most beautiful restaurants in London, I don’t think I have ever walked into a more beautiful room than The Wolseley.

If you could only choose one dish from the menu what would it be and why?

It’s difficult to choose one dish because there are so many great dishes. Some dishes are very classical and iconic and have been on the menu since we first opened… But if I had to choose just one, I would say the Soufflé Suisse. I love cheese and this dish is just delicious; it’s a twice cooked soufflé served with a gem salad on the side.

You’ve been working at The Wolseley for more than 15 years now, what keeps you coming back?

I’m a person who likes routine in my life. The Wolseley for me means stability and it’s a place where I can constantly evolve. You meet new and interesting customers every day, and you get to provide the best possible service and experience. Sometimes I watch customers walk through the front door and there is this moment of “wow”, it’s a priceless moment I never get bored of. An opportunity to make someone else’s day a bit better. The people I work with and relationships I have built over the years make the day more interesting, and it’s nice knowing we are all there for each other.

What’s been your career highlight to date?

There are so many moments I look back at and I suppose there are also moments I would redo just because the more experience you have, the better choices you make. When I became floor manager it was something I had been working towards for so many years, so I suppose in a way this is my highlight. The company has given me the opportunity and platform to achieve my goals which I appreciate every day.

When you’re not at The Wolseley, where can we find you?

I love gardening when I’m not at work, it’s great for stress relief. I also love going to the cinema with my husband and we enjoy a nice meal out when we go to the movies. I exercise when I get time, but with my busy schedule I go when I can. I love animals, so it’s no surprise I have two dachshund sausage dogs. Their names are Lola and Lily, my husband and I take them for walks whenever I’m off and we enjoy having days out with them. We even take them on their own holiday once a year!

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to join the industry?

You must love what you do, interacting with customers and making sure every experience is very special. When you make mistakes, learn from them and do better next time. Also, make the most of the time you have with your colleagues, help each other and hopefully you can inspire each other to enjoy your job and do better every day. An important lesson I’ve learnt is to have patience. I believe opportunities materialise when it’s the right time, so always make the most of everything that crosses your path.

Published 11th January 2023