There are exciting times ahead at The Cock Inn as we have a new captain at the helm; Pub Manager Rich has been busy behind the scenes getting ready for the festive season and rallying the front of house and kitchen teams for the busy month ahead.
We believe the team are such a big part of what makes a British pub such a fantastic part of our culture and it’s so important the right person is there to guide, support and lead the rest of the team…which is where Rich comes in!
We managed to sit down with him during a rare quiet moment so we could introduce him to you properly and help you get to know your local a little better…
What has led you to this point in your career, becoming the Pub Manager of The Cock Inn?
Like a lot of people in the industry, I kind of fell into it by accident! I got a call one evening to help out a friend and got offered a job straight after that shift. From there I progressed through the ranks up to Deputy General Manager, where I then took some time in a different direction as a Hospitality Trainer before coming back into the trade as a General Manager and have been now for around 6 years.
What was your dream job when you were a kid?
Like most young lads I had the cliché dream of becoming a professional sportsman (which quickly disappeared)! Other than that, from what I remember, I wanted to get into teaching. I suppose this is still a big part of my role as Pub Manager as I am training the team every day.
Where did you grow up and how/why did you choose the pub industry to work in?
I grew up in Epsom and Ewell and have always tried to remain loyal to my roots. I’d always wanted to be running a great pub in my hometown and now I am!
What would you say is your biggest achievement in life so far?
I have a real fear of open water so for me, it would be when I went scuba diving in the Red Sea, Egypt. As you can imagine, it took a while to calm myself down, but once I achieved this, I loved it and have the bug, I can’t wait to dive again!
What’s your favourite thing about British Pubs?
I love cosy old pubs… Open fires, the pub dog wandering around and great beer!
What is your favourite classic pub dish and why?
You can’t beat a good cut of quality, locally sourced steak! It’s the first thing I look for on a pub menu so I am delighted that here at The Cock Inn we have such great meat from Surrey Farms on offer.
What do you love most about the festive season?
For me, it has to be the festive football fixtures! I’m a huge Spurs fan and always look forward to the run-up to Christmas.
Do you have any annual traditions on Christmas day?
It’s not exactly a tradition, but recently I’ve found myself asleep on the sofa on Christmas day and the family take great pleasure in piling gifts on top of me in a kind of Buckaroo style game to amuse themselves…
Do you have any tips for people hosting on Christmas day?
I’ve got three nephews so for me it’s all about maintaining the magic and illusion of it all for them. It’s always nice seeing them getting hyped up and embracing the festive spirit. I think if you are hosting, be sure to enjoy yourself as well as look after your guests; it’s your Christmas too.
If you could invite anyone in the world to come and dine at The Cock Inn, who would you invite and why?
Oh, it would definitely be Noel Gallagher. The man is a legend and he’s always welcome here! Although I may have to knock off early to join him for a cheeky beer.
What’s your signature drink that your nearest and dearest know to order for you?
I like to chop and change, sometimes a good local ale, a local gin, or a bottle of Rioja never goes amiss!
What’s your favourite movie of all time?
Hmm, a tough question… I’d probably have to bring out my inner geek and say Star Wars (although most certainly not the new trilogy)!
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of work?
I like to play football whenever and wherever I can and try to play twice a week. I may not have gone professional, which had been my dream as a youth, but I still like to kick a football around when I can.
Tell us a random fact about yourself that not many people know…
I can boast to have the poet John Keats in my family tree!
Say hello to Rich next time you visit The Cock Inn!
From all of us here at The Cock Inn, we hope you have a magical and memorable Christmas!