Tony Prior joined us in June 2013 and has worked impressive 508 shifts with us! He was a favourite with clients such as: St Martins Lane Hotel, Party Ingredients, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, The Admirable Crichton, Claridge’s Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, Create Food & Party Design, Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, Leiths – Compass Group EXCEL, The Drapers Company, Portland Communications, K&K London Ltd.
How did your TempTribe journey begin?
So I had just finished working at a restaurant in London. I was on the verge of graduating uni and like most other newly-graduated, fresh out of uni, head all over the place people, I was in desperate need for a job. And there was TempTribe! I had a couple of friends at uni who worked for TempTribe and they recommended it, so I jumped straight in!
What did you like about working for TempTribe?
Many things! The first thing I enjoyed was the vast selection of venues you could work for. My first few months were trial and error to find the venues I worked best at and enjoyed the most. I remember my first shift at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in the Chambers Club lounge, and I came away with as much money as the shift paid on tips! Then once you became a regular with many clients, you felt at home, and it was like having a handful of jobs at your fingers. I’d go from St Pancras, to Create jobs, to Marriott Hotel, to ExCeL, and I never seemed desperate for shifts thanks to the sheer amount available to us!
What was your favourite/most fun shift you’ve done with TempTribe?
It has to be the overseas event we done in Courchevel, France. We flew out on my 23rd birthday, and when we got to the hotel we had a chance to celebrate! (Our shift didn’t start till 4pm the next day!). The next day we explored the snowy mountains, and all of us who didn’t already know each other became good friends before the event. At the event I found out I was to be an assistant Bar Manager, and the event itself was one of the most incredible spectacles I have ever seen! I had to run a champagne reception on an ice rink! It was such an amazing event!
How did your full time job at Excel come about?
Haha fun story! 2013 DSEI event came round and loads of us were booked to work as waiters. I get a call from Diana in the office one day saying ExCeL are looking for someone skilled, confident, and someone who doesn’t mind saying what they think and telling people what to do, so I sounded perfect for the role! I remember just laughing and saying yeah sure I’ll give it a go! Nearly three years later and I’m still there, as if I’ve been there as a permanent member all the time (as I previously stated some clients just make you feel at home!)
What are your responsibilities in your new role?
So they started off very slow. My role was Staffing Support. Jobs included taking staff to their designated areas, bagging and tagging people’s belongings, and filling out time sheets. Since being there I have ran the whole check in system myself, been in control of the staff bookings for both the retail and hospitality departments, delved into payroll and the PO system, been in charge of recruitment, including phone call interviews, leading face to face interviews, and leading induction days. And I’m still learning more every day! I am now a Staffing Officer. Being part of ExCeL also lead me to being hired at West Ham United in their staffing department as a Staffing Supervisor.
How has your experience been so far?
From working in the restaurant, to TempTribe, to now at ExCeL, my experience has been amazing. I’ve learned some incredible skills, seen some awesome events, and met some of the most amazing people this industry has to offer! I’ve also managed to find positions I never knew I’d have a chance at, from managing a bar, to being a retail manager, to ending up in my staffing position now!
Did you always want to work in events?
Not entirely. I have a passion for working for and with people, and love meeting new people. I used to work in Primark for three years. I won’t go into these experiences as I don’t want to make this post negative! However, when I found TempTribe my work ethic changed entirely! I was willing to work, always ready for jobs, and was actually excited about working. I found a passion and skill for events early on in TempTribe and still have that passion now! I’ve taken a step back now and joined a more HR kind of role, however at ExCeL when we have the busy dinner events, I like to go up to the floor and ask whether they need help, either helping on the floor or a bar, I can’t help want to be part of the action!
What motivates you when working in events?
Knowing the importance of our role. Knowing how we set a standard at events and the job we do can either make or break an individual guest’s experience. For example at Marriott I was a regular team leader. I would not be satisfied if my section wasn’t the best performed and happiest section of them all. It became a competition between the team leaders as to who’s section will be done first! (Of course, I always won!)
What experiences, professional or personal, have best prepared you for this job?
The degree I studied was a drama degree, and I feel that when you’re performing a piece you have that mental stability where you know what you need to do for the piece, how to hone the character and make it your own, and how to go out and put on an act that will be pleasing for everyone. Hospitality isn’t so different. I know what I need to do to get the job done, and how I have to do it to exceed expectations. I go out into the floor aiming to please every single guest!
What advice would you give to other young people looking for a job in hospitality?
It can be a great career starter. Don’t be fazed by starting at the bottom. Be the bottom. But prove to everyone the skills and willingness you have to come out on top!
If you didn’t work in events/hospitality, what job would you choose?
I still have a passion for acting and will one day want to look more into performance work. As many of the staff will know, I have done two years working at a summer camp, and I am preparing myself for my third year working in America at the same summer camp!
What is your plan for the future?
As I mentioned, I’ll be at the summer camps. I will be keeping ExCeL on as a casual basis, but my next venture is going to be fingers crossed joining the Royal Caribbean Cruise line as either Youth staff or Sports staff! I have already spoken with them about the positions and will be holding further talks with them towards the end of summer/ start of autumn, or as they call it, fall!
May I just take this time to thank everyone I have worked with at TempTribe. My time there has been incredible, and not only have I managed to find new skill sets and job offers, I have had the chance to meet some incredible people, and I wish everyone the best of luck in all they do! Much love!
P.S. When I left, I still held the TempTribe Joker award! I’ll keep that as memory of my time at TempTribe! 😉