Xavier Brette: “A warm welcome and a big smile are a great start”

The Staff Canteen

Leading an exceptional, supportive and dedicated team is a humbling and proud career highlight for Xavier Brette, General Manager of the Michelin-starred, fine dining venue, Winteringham Fields.

“Meeting different people every day”, Xavier Brette, General Manager of Winteringham Fields, says on what inspires him to pursue and excel in a career in hospitality. “Getting to know people and building a relationship is great, and then you have your team, who is always there to support you and make you laugh,” Xavier relays.

Led by Xavier, Winteringham Fields took home the accolade of The Staff Canteen Front of House Team of the Year 2023. A proud moment for the team, Winteringham Fields was selected from 1,071 nominations and over 49,000 votes, moving beyond our top four shortlist to take the top accolade in their category and be crowned the number one front-of-house team in the country.

Xavier Brette GM Winteringham Fields


Over the past 20 years in hospitality, there have been several proud achievements in the industry, Xavier says. “One of my proudest achievements is when we were awarded our first Michelin star a few years back, as it was one of my missions when I first started at Winteringham Fields, and it took a lot of hard work to achieve it,” Xavier highlights.

Winteringham Fields is Lincolnshire’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, providing revered, exceptional and recognised service, food and drink. The restaurant’s Michelin-star fine dining experience centres on food rooted in local nature, including fresh food from the salted sea and produce reared on local farmers’ fields. Winteringham Fields’ esteemed chefs dedicate their time and talent to creating something new each season with a menu that deeply respects nature and seasons.

Warmth, a big smile and comfortability

“A warm welcome and a big smile are a great start,” Xavier relays on what customers look for from a positive service. “Dealing with different people daily is not easy,” Xavier adds on what a good service looks like, “but you must know how to read your guests”.

Simultaneously friendly and professional, Xavier believes a good service revolves around the importance of “anticipating your guests’ needs and making them feel comfortable and relaxed in your restaurant whenever possible”. For regulars, the focus is on always remembering their likes and dislikes so they feel special and that you truly are going above and beyond to give them a first-class fine dining experience.

Xavier Brette GM Winteringham Fields


“Many people think hospitality is an easy job option, but hospitality is a career for passionate people,” says Xavier. “It is hard to maintain and takes a lot of hard work and focus,” Xavier adds. For anyone considering entering the hospitality sector, Xavier adds that for a long, prosperous and enjoyable career in hospitality, “they should be willing to put in the hours required and make the effort of learning or studying to get basic knowledge”. “If you are willing to aspire and put in the groundwork, you will achieve here at Winteringham Fields,” continues Xavier.

Finding the right team

Staffing is one of the major challenges facing the hospitality sector. “It’s hard to find decent staff or passionate ones at the minute,” Xavier shares. That’s why keeping hold of them once you find them is integral to creating a supportive and successful team, he relays. “Once you find special staff, you need to nurture and guide them,” adds Xavier.

As the venue’s front-of-house manager, Xavier is at the forefront of providing this nurture and guidance. He sees his role in addressing today’s hospitality staffing challenge as "being a role model to his team, encouraging and praising them”.

A service built on exceptional teamwork, effort and work ethic

As for what makes Winteringham Fields standout from its competitors? “The work ethic of all individuals here at Winteringham Fields,” says Xavier. Collaboration and communication are crucial to ensure the highest-quality experience. “The teamwork is exceptional,” adds Xavier.

Xavier Brette GM Winteringham Fields


Winteringham Fields has been operating as a restaurant since 1988 under the ownership of Annie and Germain Schwab. Now a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms, Colin and Bex McGurran have been its owners since 2005. It serves lunch from 12 pm-1:30 pm and dinner from 6.30-7.30 pm, totalling 25 covers, four days a week, from Wednesdays to Saturdays.

The venue’s core goals and success measurements focus on ensuring that satisfied customers become regular customers, thus increasing the business’s profitability, Xavier says.

Fine dining is at the centre of Winteringham Fields, with six chefs, four full-time front-of-house and six part-time team members responsible for providing a devoted and dedicated daily service. Oh, and serving espresso martinis, the most popular drink currently on the restaurant’s menu, doesn't fail to impress its customers either.

Written by: Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe

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Editor 13th March 2024

Xavier Brette: “A warm welcome and a big smile are a great start”