York & Humberside

Ben Torkington

Ben Torkington – Stocktaker York

Based in York Covering Hull, Thirsk, Scarborough

After spending 15 years in hospitality, I wanted to do something that was both still in
the industry I love, but also offered me the flexibility and freedom of working for myself.

I started in 2018, and was fortunate enough to take over the running of a well
established client base in North Yorkshire. Since then, I have seen the number of clients
grown steadily to what it is today, this has mainly been been through referrals and
recommendations, as well as national account work from our head office. Running your
own business is very rewarding, but demanding at the same time, for me, the most
important aspect to consider is time management when not on site with clients, it is
essential to maintaining the healthy balance between work and home. That being said,
there is still extra work to do at home, whether it be accounts or finishing off reports,
but overall, the freedom and flexibility that being self employed offers is a big positive.

I am from Manchester originally, and moved to Leeds for university in 2003. Whilst
there, I took a job bar tending part time in Headingly, this lead to a management role in
2006 after I had graduated. I stayed with the same company, progressing up the
management ladder, eventually becoming a general manager in 2009, until I left in 2016. I
left to move into retail store management, and quickly discovered this was not a sector I
enjoyed, missing hospitality almost immediately. Having worked with Stocktake UK
franchisees in my hospitality career, I then decided to become a stocktaker in York myself.

I am still a relative newcomer, but the last 4 years have been very eye opening, I have
found my knowledge of the industry, even though I am not directly involved anymore,
has actually increased exponentially, due to the fact I see a whole host of different types
of operation, my client base ranges from family run pubs, to fine dining restaurants, high
volume sports bars and managed houses that are part of large corporate companies. I
am lucky enough to have already known quite a few stocktakers from my time in
hospitality, who I now work alongside. The communication is fantastic, the support
channels from people more experienced than myself are also invaluable, and of course,
it is always good when we meet up to discuss ideas, and just get things off your chest

I am very big sports fan, of course, being from Manchester, I am a huge Manchester City
fan (since 1992, so I saw the dark days as well!), but I am also a cricket fan (I used to
play, but a career in hospitality and my back put paid to that). I now play golf (badly), am
a big fan of the NFL and I like to go to the gym as much as I can. Food is also a big
passion, my official title at work was General Manager/frustrated chef, throughout my
time in hospitality, but I love to cook at home, you will invariably find me watching
various cooking shows on TV, or my head in a recipe book. Working originally as a
bartender, my love of food actually started out with drinks, specifically wine, whisk(e)y
and cocktails, I have my WSET level 2 in both wine and spirts from many years ago, and
would like to do more of the advanced courses in the future. Finally, being a proud
Mancunian, music is a big passion (we do it better than everybody else after all!), I am
currently starting to expand my small vinyl collection, my taste is extremely eclectic but
is obviously heavily influenced by the local bands I grew up listening to.

If you could go back in time and offer your former self any advice what would it be?

Always make the best use of your time out of work and make sure you do not let it
dominate your life, much in the way hospitality can

Stocktaker York