The Betsey Wynne pub restaurant in Swanbourne looks set to serve up some great career opportunities in hospitality as it seeks double its workforce for a big August re-opening.
First built some 11 years ago, The Betsey Wynne pub - which boasts striking views over the Swanbourne Estate in North Buckinghamshire between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes - quickly attracted a local crowd of regulars.
But the pub’s many charms deserved a bigger audience and last year the Estate’s owners asked local independent pub group, Oakman Inns, if they would be interested in becoming tenants.
For Oakman’s CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, who hails from nearby Tring, the answer was an unqualified “Yes” as he saw the possibilities that the partnership could bring.
“The Betsey Wynne had an enthusiastic core of regulars, a reputation for serving good food and beer, masses of fresh produce available directly from The Swanbourne Estate and is close to many growing towns. The only thing we needed to do, once we had come to know everyone, was to freshen the actual building and introduce some of the cooking styles, comfort and relaxing touches that are synonymous with an Oakman Inn.”
Eagle-eyed locals will have spotted that time has now come as the Council has granted Planning Permission for the proposed changes and work on the newly extended Orangery-style, glass-fronted restaurant has already started. To complete its major make-over, the pub will close from Monday 10th July for five weeks and mark its re-opening in time for August Bank Holiday by hosting this year’s Swanbourne Music Festival next door.
Additions include a traditional wood-fired pizza oven, a prominent theatre-style open kitchen which will serve the increased covers, a more flexible function room and more comfortable seating in the bar and lounge areas. To take advantage of the views, 2017 RHS Chelsea Double Gold Medallist, Kate Gould, has been commissioned to design a new Al Fresco area, revitalise the gardens and landscape the larger car park – complete with an electric car charging point.
When The Betsey Wynne re-opens, food service will start an hour earlier at 9am with a wide-ranging Breakfast and Brunch menu in line with Oakman’s “All Day” food policy and, with the additional restaurant covers, the pub’s General Manager, Jack Ashmore, is looking to double his team of chefs, restaurant and bar servers, managers and front of house to 20.
As the only hospitality company ranked in the top 10 of this year’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For’, job opportunities at Oakman Inns are usually in high demand. Through its in-house training platform, ‘Oakmanology’, the company offers a range of training and career development programmes so that every employee has the opportunity to develop their skills, shape their career and reach their potential within the company.
For example, over 72% of their General Managers have been promoted from within - and this number is set to rise as the teams make their way through their trainee programmes. Jack is testimony to the Oakman philosophy having followed the Oakman career path over the last eight years.
“Oakman Inns is a great pub company to work for. There’s a real sense of belonging to the Oakman ‘family’,” Jack said.
“Whether you’re looking for part-time work to fit in with a busy home life or you’re looking for a career, our company offers more than just a job and a good working environment – they want every one of us to realise our potential whether you are interested in learning skills in crafts like mixology or butchery or training for future leadership and management positions.”
He added: “The Betsey Wynne is and always will be an integral part of village life in Swanbourne. We want it to be the best pub in the area and provide a place where people can relax in the company of friends, family and business colleagues with good food, drinks and service - and we hope our enhancements will be well received.”