LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH NO.10 BAR & RESTAURANT?
I have been at No.10 Bar & Restaurant since we opened four months ago. The venue underwent a major refurbishment in the summer which included extending into the neighbouring building to create a new 90-seater restaurant with private dining facilities. The bar, which actually opened in 1986 also had a transformation to match the new stylish interiors.
WHAT MADE YOU GO FOR THE JOB OF RESTAURANT MANAGER?
I was approached by a mutual friend who mentioned that No.10 were on the lookout for a restaurant manager so I met with the owners to discuss the vision for No.10 and I decided it sounded like something I wanted to be part of.
As it is located in the city’s west end, I knew it would be fast-paced so I thought it would b e a great opportunity for my personal development and it would be really exciting to be part of one of Aberdeen’s newest restaurant.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?
Primarily I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the restaurant but this can entail a variety of different tasks.
Beyond service times, I am also responsible for staffing, both training and work rotas, stock control, communicating with the kitchen and bar teams and involvement with the menus.
However, a main priority in my role is to ensure high standards are maintained in the restaurant, both in terms of service and quality of food.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?
First and foremost, I enjoy the learning aspect. Something new always crops up in the hospitality industry, be it food trends, customer preferences and business operations which allows me to continually update my skills set.
I also love the fast-paced environment of a busy restaurant and also the opportunity to share my experience with the rest of the team.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO JOIN THAT INDUSTRY? IF NOT, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO INITIALLY?
When I left school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I went to college to study Journalism and Media. However, I didn’t find this challenging enough so I joined Robert Gordon University to study law.
This is when I caught the hospitality bug through my part-time job and quickly found myself enjoying it more than my studies so I switched courses to study hospitality management.
YOU WORKED AT ANDREW FAIRLIE AT GLENEAGLES. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THERE?
Firstly, my product knowledge and understanding of food and wine. As part of my role as Chef Du Rang, I had to explain every detail of the dish as we served and efficiently answer guests’ questions.
The front-of-house team were expected to have the knowledge of the chefs without the skills of cooking, so it was imperative that we took the time to listen and learn about the food in time for every service.
Secondly, customer service. This is paramount at Gleneagles and something Andrew Fairlie’s is well recognised for. This level of focus on service and attention to detail has undoubtedly helped me as I lead the team at No.10 Bar & Restaurant.
I also learned a lot about different cultures, both in terms of working with people from different countries and also as a five-star tourist destination, we often had cultured guests so I had to adapt my service accordingly
WHAT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE THAT YOU’VE OVERCOME IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Every day provides new challenges as no two days play out the same in the hospitality sector.
Although my daily responsibilities remain the same, day-to-day we face different issues and as a busy new restaurant we are continually look for ways to maintain quality throughout the business.
HOSPITALITY HAS A REPUTATION FOR HAVING LONG HOURS. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THAT?
I believe that hospitality is no different than any other sector. There is no denying it is long hours but just like every job, you get out what you put in and there are opportunities to progress if you work hard, show initiative and importantly, passion for the job.
WHAT DOES IT OFFER YOUNG PEOPLE?
I think the main thing would be transferable skills. A lot of people join the hospitality sector through part-time jobs when at school and university and some don’t realise the amount of skills they are learning.
This includes communication, time management, and how to deal with difficult and pressurised situations which are all important skills for life and can be utilised universally across different jobs and also in different countries.
It can also offer a job for life – just like other industries it can suffer from highs and lows but as hospitality is closely linked with tourism, there always tends to be a demand.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE CAREER GOALS?
I am very happy at No.10 but I guess looking into the future when I feel too old to be on my feet all day, I would quite like to start up my own consultancy and share my experience and knowledge to assist new businesses.