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How a Seasonal Role as a Waiter Kickstarted Scott’s Career as Head Chef

Posting date: 07/07/2023
Seasonal summer jobs in the holiday park industry are an exciting and exceptionally fun way to get your foot on the career ladder in hospitality. Not only do they earn you some extra summer break spending money, and are the perfect opportunity to meet new friends, but they’re also the perfect gap filler between college or university semesters.

Seasonal or temporary jobs can provide the perfect space to home in on your people skills and gain some hands-on experience in a number of job types, all without the sometimes-daunting idea of committing to something long term. You never know what’s quite around the corner in hospitality however, which is why so many seasonal recruits go on to progress and develop into a number of fantastic roles at Parkdean Resorts.

We sat down to chat with Scott Simpson, who joined the team over 14 years ago as a seasonal waiter when he was just 17 and is now Head Chef at Sundrum Castle Holiday Park in Scotland.

Image of Scott Simpson

Name: Scott Simpson
Role: Head Chef

Scott's fun fact: My 2 kids, my daughter who is 12 and my son who is 4, absolutely rule my life and when I’m not at work or watching Rangers play football, I’m picking them up and dropping them off all over the place.  


When did you first join PDR and why?
I’ve been with the company for 14 years now and started when I was 17 as a seasonal waiter for some extra money. Every year I would come back to the park, working in a number of areas including the bar and eventually the kitchen. 


Since joining 14 years ago, what has your journey been like?
It was my 3rd season with the business when I finally went into the kitchen. I enjoyed cooking at home, so enjoyed spending time between cheffing and being a bar supervisor which went on for a good 3 or 4 seasons. At one point I did leave to take on a full-time position in another industry, but before long I was back with the team to help them out. When the team needed a Head Chef in 2017, I applied and was offered, and the rest is history. I met my partner, Nicola, during my time at Sundrum and we’re still together now (10 years later) with plans to get married soon. She was Bar Supervisor when we first met and is now Complex Manager at Sundrum.

What is it about being a Head Chef that you like and what inspired you to move into that profession?
It was really the encouragement I received from the Food and Beverage Manager at the time. We had a great working relationship and he motivated me to go for it. Now I’m here, I would say it’s definitely the team that keeps me inspired and I enjoy keeping them going. There’s no banter like kitchen banter, and we’re a team of people who are just as much friends as we are colleagues. They work hard but they have a great time while doing it. I love working in the kitchen, it comes as second nature to me – although I’d definitely give up the paperwork side of things!

Why is it do you think that you stay at PDR?
For me, it’s a park thing. We’re more like a family rather than colleagues. We all have a laugh; we sometimes even bicker but it’s what keeps me here. It’s definitely the culture that comes with holiday park life – it’s like nothing else. The wages are also really good here, and the business ensures they are staying competitive when it comes to pay.

Any programmes/development/training you’ve been involved in?
I’ve actually very recently been made Regional Star Chef in December of last year. It means I get to support other chefs in the business and help to induct brand new head chefs into the company.  

Check out our sizzling summer jobs at Parkdean Resorts!
Are you wanting to earn some extra pennies this summer, or an opportunity to do something fun and meet some amazing people? Then a summer job with us might be exactly what you are looking for!


Jodie Smith our consultant managing the role
Posted by Jodie Smith
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