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Last week, Tony Beales – Managing Director of award-winning event caterers in Dorset, Beales Gourmet – delivered a talk to students at Lytchett Minster School, about his life and career in hospitality. He was speaking as part of Dorset Chamber of Commerce’s Young Chamber* initiative to engage young people with the business community in Dorset.

Tony said: “What struck me was how engaged the students were, and how they clearly enthused they were with where my career in hospitality has taken me. Sadly, there is often a negative stigma attached to a career path into catering and hospitality, despite its potentially lucrative rewards and opportunities.”

He continued: “I left school and didn’t go to university but went down the route of catering college instead at Bournemouth & Poole College. I really excelled at college and that great foundation laid the way to a career cooking for the rich and famous around the world on private yachts, in Michelin starred kitchens and in ski chalets. I returned to Dorset in 2005 and set up my company, Beales Gourmet, and our team now cater at around 350 events every year, and also run our own exclusive venue, The Italian Villa.

I want students to understand how many incredible opportunities there are in our industry, and today, I act as an ambassador of Bournemouth & Poole College to try to get that message across. If anyone has second thoughts about what is possible in our industry, I can promise that with a bit of hard work and determination, the possibilities are endless!”

Through his ambassadorial role with the college, Tony has also highlighted the significant shortage of apprentices in the hospitality sector. He is calling for schools and career counsellors to provide a good insight into the sector so that young people can make an informed decision.

For more information about Tony and the Beales Gourmet team (along with employment opportunities at the company), visit


* Lytchett Minster School’s Young Chamber membership is sponsored by Walker Wealth Management Ltd.