Victus: The highs and lows of 2017

When your lowest point is being in tears because you’re knackered from too much work and you’re overawed by the most incredible landscape you’ve ever seen, you know you’re having a good year.

That was back in May on a particularly challenging section of the Great Wall of China. I had joined a group of fellow hospitality professionals to walk the wall to fundraise for HIT Scotland and there’d be lots of laughter, fun, japes, the odd crisis or two and plenty of mutual support. But having pushed myself to the limit battling over a crumbling, overgrown, scarily steep path, I sat down, looked around me and felt utterly overwhelmed.

I’d started the year with an empty diary. Yup, page after page of blank nothingness. It was terrifying. But the gloom quickly lifted. I won the tender for a huge, country-wide consultancy project which allowed me the huge privilege of visiting some of the most beautiful properties in the land. The project grew arms and legs and tails and everything else, and at one point I thought I wouldn’t even make it to China, but make it I did and wow! What an incredible experience and an absolute highlight of the year.

Back to reality in old Blighty and Victus took a surprising turn. All of a sudden I was in demand as a speaker, presenter, compere and judge. I hosted the main stage and panel discussions at many of the big trade shows in Excel, SECC and NEC as well as at university conferences and internally for hotels and hospitality organisations. Judging some of the best food in the country was hard but someone had to… nah, I won’t even pretend that it was nothing but an absolute pleasure.

STV got in touch – could I present the meals for under a tenner slot on their “Live at 5” show? Of course I could, and I did, soon becoming a regular guest presenter.

The year got busier and busier, and it looked like presenting at live events would become Victus’ main focus. We started thinking about changing what we’re all about, changing our website, changing our message, then suddenly the consultancy work was in full flow again, working in rural and urban locations for both single and multi-site companies.

A slight identity crisis followed, but we quickly recovered as we realised Victus has always remained true to itself. We are still fulfilling our original vision of helping hospitality businesses be the very best they can be, and to be ambassadors for the hospitality and catering industry. So whether that’s supporting a countryside restaurant get back on track, facilitating discussion about key issues in our industry, delivering a motivational speech to aspiring hospitality students or hosting an industry event, we’re well and truly on track.

Merry Christmas, thank you as always for your support, and onwards and upwards into 2018.

Victus is now accepting 2018 consultancy projects, as well as speaking, presenting and judging work. Please call 07732 454 639 for a chat and we can take it from there.