HE may have been fired by Lord Sugar on BBC’s The Apprentice, but young entrepreneur Tim Stillwell is hoping to spice things up in the Mexican food industry by opening his first restaurant at Merry Hill.
Tim, who was seen getting the boot on the hit TV show last night (Wednesday May 8), plans to open his first Burrito Kitchen restaurant at the Black Country shopping centre’s food court at the beginning of June.
The 23-year-old from Birmingham made it to just the second episode of the show which sees the country’s brightest business brains taking on a series of challenges to try and win a £250,000 investment from multi-millionaire Lord Sugar.
Failure to win a task to make new brand of flavoured beer on the latest episode, however, saw him booted out of the boardroom - while close-to-being fired colleagues Francesca MacDuff-Varley and Rebecca Slater lived to fight another day.
But as happy-go-lucky Tim prepares to expand the Mexican food business he started up as a Burrito Van while in his final year at Birmingham University - he told the News it’s onwards and upwards.
He said: “I do have a lot more than the TV show showed - it’s very much a game show. I did it to establish myself as a businessman - I went there for the £250,000 investment.
“It was a great experience but you don’t get to show how good you are in business.
“I’m hoping the launch at Merry Hill and taking on the food giants will show me as a good businessman.
“We’re really trying to do something new and different.
“We’ve got a completely fresh approach with recipes imported from Mexico where I lived for 12 months. We make everything fresh; it’s healthy fast food.”
Tim, who plans to manage the soon-to-open Merry Hill outlet himself, believes Lord Sugar knew he was poised to launch the business and he said the experience of being fired by him on national TV hasn’t fazed him too much.
He said: “It was a very nice firing. I’ve never been fired before but it was very nice. It would have been easy for him to turn on me but he didnt. He said it was unfortunate - ‘I don’t have a choice’.”
He admits to having been “scared to meet” the business magnate but that didn’t stop him speaking out in the boardroom in episode one - a decision that no doubt led to Lord Sugar appointing him as project manager of the girls’ team Evolve on the second task.
However - he hopes Lord Sugar may be impressed by his Mexican food venture which, if it proves a success at Merry Hill’s Eat Central, he will be looking to expand into other areas of the Black Country - possibly Stourbridge.
As part of the business he’s also developing a new soft drink called Refresca which will be on sale at Merry Hill.
In the meantime, he’s tipping fellow contestant Myles Mordaunt to win The Apprentice.
He said: “I think Myles will do well. He’s got the experience I lacked if Lord Sugar wants a safer bet.”