Meet Ashley

Large image of Ashley Shepherd, the Head Waiter at Simpsons Restaurant.

Meet Ashley

Ashley Shepherd

Growing up in Sutton Coldfield, Ashley has grown through the ranks at Simpsons and has worked in most sections of the front of house. Having started at the age of 17, he has been at Simpsons for 4 years this month. Ash has gone from being a shy apprentice to now being a mainstay in the Simpsons team, he is now Head Waiter at the restaurant. Staff have come and gone but Ash has remained here at Simpsons being a valued part of the group.  We sat down with Ashley to ask him about the start of his career and what he gets up to on his day off.

What was your first memory of serving customers?

My first memory of serving a customer was when I was 14/15 and went on work experience to Blackroot Bistro in Sutton Coldfield. I have always wanted my own business and thought the bistro was a great starting point. I then applied for a Saturday job and that’s where my career started.

What was your funniest moment in a restaurant?

There have been many funny moments whilst being in restaurants, one of which was being with friends eating out. My best mate was on the way back from the bar with a hand full of drinks. Next thing we hear is a loud crashing sound in the restaurant. The whole restaurant goes quiet and we look over and see him standing in a puddle of drinks, all we did to help was laugh…

Who has been your inspiration growing up?

I would probably say that my Mom and Dad are my inspiration. From hearing how they started their own business out of a small bedroom in their house to now seeing them being successful. That’s where my passion and ambition started was from my Mom and Dad.

What made you want to work in a restaurant?

I started off wanting to be a chef. From a young age, I have always been around food, cooking for the family and trying different foods. Being a chef was great but being a waiter was where I wanted to be. Being able to put smiles on people’s faces with food and great service, this is why I love my job.

What is the best thing about working at Simpsons?

The best thing about working at Simpsons is having such a close-knit team, I love how we all work together like clockwork. Andreas, Luke and Gianluca believing in me and pushing me to reach my goals. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Simpsons nor would I have met the people who have helped develop my skills.

Where do you eat on your day off?

I like good honest food and have been fortunately experienced a whole range of different cuisines. For an Italian, I like Laghi’s Deli in Five Ways, Meat Shack in Birmingham City Centre and for a steak, my favourite is at Hoofbeats Bar and Kitchen.

You’re inviting 3 celebrities to your dinner party, who would you choose and why?

1.       Gordon Ramsey – I want to see what he’s like away from the camera.

2.       Heston Blumenthal – Love to pick his brain and understand how he sees the food and hospitality industry.

3.      Kevin Hart – For someone with a sense of humour to create an atmosphere.

What would be your last meal on earth?

For the starter, I would have to say the Crab & Cauliflower Risotto here at Simpsons (I might be biased). Then for the main course, I would choose the Steak and Chips from Hoofsbeats Kitchen and to finish it all off for dessert, it has to be Lemon Meringue Pie Souffle from Simpsons.