Gordon Ramsay Rejected Me


My husband watches a show called Kitchen Nightmares.

Famed chef and Michelin Star winner Gordon Ramsay steps out of his own five-star establishments and into some of the country’s most unsanitary and unsuccessful restaurants to help them turn their businesses around or close their doors forever.

I don’t know much about Gordon Ramsay beyond the tabloid allegations and the celebrity gossip — which is fierce, by the way — but I do know that he likes to drop the F bomb with wild abandon. Also, I do have a thing for tall, white guys who think they know everything.

I gave it a go, last week, and watched episodes of the show.

I loved it.

I could care less about the drama of reality TV. Most of these restaurants fail for two reasons: a lack of leadership and a lack of business savvy. Gordon Ramsay sees this, very clearly, and doesn’t mince words. There are no committees to review policies & procedures at the restaurant. No task forces have been created. There are no feedback mechanisms. Ramsay sees the issue, addresses mediocrity in a very direct way, and doesn’t allow the owners to place the blame anywhere but on themselves.

It’s a great coaching model. Candid. Direct. Honest. Targeted. Specific. He sets expectations, he gives very clear direction, and he expects you to trust his expertise or get the eff out of his way. He expects quality food, clean kitchen facilities, and smart business practices. Inventory management. Operations. Payroll. If you can’t get the basics right, you have no business running a restaurant. Failure is an option for you.


I wanted to write a more thought post about the crossover appeal of Gordon Ramsay’s leadership style, so I went to the main website to learn more about his corporate infrastructure. It turns out that Ramsay has a career page where you can apply for a whole host of jobs, and one of those jobs was HR Advisor.

I got distracted and applied for the job out of curiosity.

My husband thought I was nuts, but I wanted to see the hiring process from the eyes of a consumer who is loyal to Gordon’s brand. I wanted to have a first-hand experience with the resume and candidate database software. I wanted to know if the HR Department at Gordon Ramsay Holdings could see that I am a great candidate for something even though I’m not the ideal candidate for the job.

They could not. I was automatically rejected via email within 48 hours.

I am sure that some of my answers didn’t meet the screening criteria, and I don’t even have a resume at this point in my career. I am both overqualified and under-qualified for the role of HR Advisor in the hospitality industry in the UK. What the hell do I know about food service and restaurants?

But I know HR.

And I’d be a great asset to that company.

And I was rejected outright.


I am still a big fan of the show and a big advocate of Gordon Ramsay’s leadership style. I would pay to hear him speak before I’d pay to hear Jack Welch speak at a conference. I just wonder how amazing it could be if someone like Ramsay, or any other celebrity with a big infrastructure, could rethink the hiring process and move away from resume databases that automatically reject candidates because of stuffy and incomplete screening criteria.

Oh well. I have higher hopes for my application with Alicia Keys.

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