Studying at Les Roches provides an almost guaranteed pathway into employment. We have strong relationships with some of the world’s leading hospitality organisations, while our Career and Recruitment Days offer a great opportunity for students to network with established professionals.
One company that frequently recruits from Les Roches is Black Sheep Restaurants, a Hong Kong-based hospitality group. Syed Asim Hussain, one of Black Sheep’s co-founders, discussed with us why they hire our students.
Black Sheep – a background
Black Sheep Restaurants began in 2012, with Assim founding the company with chef and restaurant developer Christopher Mark. Since its formation, it has grown into one of the world’s most unique and progressive hospitality groups. “We operate across the spectrum,” Syed Asim says. “We have fast, casual restaurants, great neighbourhood restaurants and fine-dining establishments.”
I think what makes the students stand out is that they are down-to-earth and humble, but also ambitious and entrepreneurial. They have great ideas.
Black Sheep specialises in developing thought-provoking restaurant concepts that give customers unforgettable experiences. With a portfolio of 18 acclaimed restaurants, 13 of which are based in Hong Kong’s bustling SoHo district, Black Sheep continues to grow and enhance its reputation.
A unique school for a unique brand
Syed Asim is drawn to individuality. It’s something he incorporates into Black Sheep but is also something he searches for in his employees. “That’s what is unique about us – we don’t come with a quota to fill,” he says. “We arrive looking for good students with good personalities that can either become interns or management trainees. Everything you need to know about the job, we’ll teach you. But you have to come with a good attitude.”
What is it about Les Roches students specifically that Black Sheep likes? “We’ve been recruiting from the school for about three years,” Syed Asim says. “I think what makes the students stand out is that they are down-to-earth and humble, but also ambitious and entrepreneurial. They have great ideas. I feel our values and the students’ values are aligned.
“At Les Roches, there is a heavy emphasis on practical knowledge, particularly in terms of how things work in a restaurant. That means we don’t have to start from scratch when we hire Les Roches students – they already have knowledge of how things work in a restaurant.”
Practical knowledge is very important,” he says. “You can’t substitute that for anything else.”
Key advice: resilience makes you successful
Syed Asim remembers some sound advice he was given by his father. “The successful ones never stop working,” he says. “There have been many setbacks, trials and tribulations with Black Sheep over the past six years. However, our resilience is what makes us successful. We’ve never given up.”
When it comes to working in hospitality, Syed Asim also believes practical experience is vital. “I worked in finance for four years but decided I wanted to return to hospitality. To build up my experience again, I worked in restaurants for two years. Practical knowledge is very important,” he says. “You can’t substitute that for anything else.”
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