Surgeons Quarter, Cafe 1305

A PERMANENT personality in Edinburgh’s hospitality industry is sharing how the industry can provide long-term careers, citing how she wants to change attitudes about jobs in the sector in Scotland.

Jackie Hudson is playing a key role in driving the strategic direction of the downtown venue Surgeons’ quarter which includes the city’s largest independent hotel, Ten Hill Place, and a thriving conference and events business that makes the most of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s (RCSEd) buildings and venues.

After 17 years in the industry, she cites her experience to encourage others not to view it as a short-term employment solution, something she was once guilty of, starting out in an events manager role after college, while initially considering an entrepreneurial teaching career mathematics.

As the industry recovers from the pandemic and overcomes the ongoing economic fallout, including a lingering hiring crisis, Jackie believes now is an opportune time to move into the hospitality business.

These challenges have brought about positive changes in working hours, pay, training and development with more organizations increasing the incentives that were previously considered major deterrents to considering the industry as a long-term career plan.

Jackie (41), who works as a revenue manager and is part of the senior management team at Surgeons Quarter, said: “Working in the hospitality industry has opened up opportunities I could only have dreamed of. It can be turbulent, stressful and challenging, but isn’t that the case in all industries today?

“As an industry, we may have been shy to shout about what careers can mean. I would say that many organizations have really had to focus on their development opportunities, conditions and base pay. I am sure that we are at the forefront of the country and we strive to remain there.

“If you enjoy interacting with people, want to carve out your own niche, and are willing to learn from real-life experiences, the hospitality industry is the perfect fit for you.

I am also very proud to be involved in marketing Edinburgh nationally and internationally. When I first started, I never would have thought that I would be able to predict the income from such a diverse portfolio business.”

Underscoring the breadth of experience Jackie has gained at Surgeons Quarter, earlier this month she was invited by Surgeons Quarter Managing Director Scott Mitchell to accompany him to the RCSEd International Conference in Chennai, India.

Scott said: “Jackie is a real pillar of our business. She’s not in the spotlight at events or with our clients, so maybe she doesn’t always get the spotlight she deserves.

“She is the epitome of someone who has built a very strong career in the hospitality industry, and it has been an honor to see her develop and thrive within our team.”

As part of Jackie’s role, she plays an active role in recruitment and has a strong interest in creating a diverse workforce to include different skills and abilities.

With more than 22 different nationalities making up its 178-strong team, the multicultural business places a strong emphasis on professional development and bringing the benefits of a career in the industry to the fore for those just starting out.

Surgeons Quarter promotes, markets and manages all commercial activities held on the RCSEd campus, which includes the Ten Hill Place Hotel.

From 2021, the company received living wage accreditation and also increased its team’s pension contributions to 7.5%.

For more information on events, conferences and meeting places in the Surgeons Quarter, visit:

Hospitality expert endorses industry as lasting career option