Restaurant manager, the Queensberry hotel and Olive Tree restaurant, Bath
Nominator Laurence Beere
With a degree in international hospitality management from Oxford Brookes University and a D&D graduate training programme under his belt, Owen Farr has quickly progressed through the ranks at a variety of well-known restaurants, predominantly in London.
In November 2018 he relocated to Bath to take on the role of restaurant manager of the Olive Tree restaurant, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Bath. As restaurant manager he oversaw a 38% increase in turnover in 2019 and a 55% increase in operating profit, while also developing a team of 11 waiters. Morale has improved under his management, while annual staff turnover fell under 20% before the pandemic struck.
Farr also works with local schools and colleges to provide a resource for promoting hospitality as a career of choice.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
Where the next wave of industry personnel are coming from, I'm not entirely sure. Despite the work of Springboard and people like Fred Sirieix, there are still misconceptions about the industry, and younger people are just not attracted to it. The industry doesn't always come over as glamorous, but it can take you anywhere, and that is what people don't recognise. People must want to have a career in hospitality, not just a make-do job.
Who is your hospitality hero?
Raymond Blanc, the chef-patron at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. His was the first hospitality autobiography that I read, and his passion for food and hospitality is infectious and inspiring.