David Cunningham – Stocktaker in Devon
Based in Taunton and covering Exeter, Bridgwater and Yeovil
After dedicating 30 years of my life to roles in the hospitality trade, ranging from chef to hotel, pub, and restaurant manager, and later an area manager, I found myself facing redundancy in 2007. With my skills, knowledge, and extensive experience in the industry, I was eager to continue contributing to the hospitality trade.
Starting from scratch with an empty contact list around 16 years ago was a daunting prospect. However, with the invaluable support of the Stockcheck franchise team and the ability to engage with business owners, managers, and chefs, I soon became adept at discussing the benefits of stocktaking and how I could make a difference by working with them. My initial “planned 5-day working week” quickly expanded to 6 and 7 days, driven by my inability to say no. Looking back, I wonder how I managed to play three rounds of golf per week. Then it strikes me – I wasn’t self-employed back then!
My journey began with a stint at Catering College and several years of cooking for the Armed Forces. I then ventured to the south coast, working the seasonal hotel circuit before moving to London. After a while, I decided to take a break from the kitchen, and I found employment as a Grand Metropolitan Retail manager. My wife joined me in London, and together, we managed 10 restaurants, pubs, and hotels across locations from Sussex to Manchester. We concluded our travels around the country in Taunton, Somerset, where I became an area manager. Unfortunately, the venture capitalist firm that took over the company eventually made everyone in the entire division redundant. That’s when my Stockcheck opportunity presented itself.
As a Stocktaker in Devon, National account work is my mainstay, but I also choose to take on other assignments. Being part of the larger Stockcheck family allows me to remain part of a team and share tips and tricks with the broader stocktaking community.
With a background as a chef, manager, and area manager throughout my working life, I possess a wealth of experience that I’m eager to share and utilize to assist others at all levels of the hospitality trade.
Apologies for the brain fog, but if it clears, I’ll submit more later.
I’m a father of four and a grandfather of three, which keeps me busy. Moreover, both my sons and my son-in-law have taken up golf, so we now have a ready-made foursome for the golf course. Wine and food have played a significant role in my life as a retail manager, but now, I have the time to savour the finer things in life as a customer. Traveling to new parts of the world we haven’t explored yet and making it a priority to catch at least two shows a year have become our focus.
If I could have listened to my own advice back then, coupled with the knowledge I’ve gained along my journey, I would likely be running a very successful string of restaurants today, for myself.
For a modest investment, the opportunity to be your own boss, and a job where you reap what you sow while using your skills to help others, is a truly rewarding experience. I may not be a Policeman (unless an owner pays me to be one), but I like to think of myself as here to support business owners, providing information to help them navigate the mist and reach their destination, using insights from where they’ve been and suggestions about which path to take.
In life, it’s essential to periodically stop and take stock, to sit down and determine what truly matters and what doesn’t. We must evaluate which risks are worth taking and which are not. Even in the face of life’s most confusing or painful aspects, clarity and choice can make things more manageable.
Stocktaker in Devon