I am the front of house manager for The Butchers Social.
I have worked with Mike and the rest of the team since 2019 and have had the best time getting to know so many great people- staff, suppliers and customers alike. Yes hospitality generally means unsociable hours but honestly, it’s one of the most sociable careers you can work in. In fact, it’s all I’ve known since I was 19 (so,a long time!) .
After finishing my GCSE’s, I trained to be a lifeguard and enjoyed studying Psychology and English Language & Literature for my A levels. Although I loved Psychology and still read papers to this day, I wanted to start earning as soon as I could so I could start taking driving lessons.
After looking for vacancies around my area, I came across the Frankie & Bennys role. I wasn’t qualified in anything at this point but I could talk! Anyone who knows me, knows that I can talk for England!
Sometimes, this can be one of the most difficult skills to learn in hospitality - you have to be able to communicate with people. Personality is key.
So, in 2007 I began my hospitality career as a waitress at Frankie & Bennys in Evesham. My family always worried for me carrying plates and large trays as I have a very clumsy disposition and there were occasions where i did drop things...there is nothing more embarrassing then a roar of customers laughing once you’ve dropped plates etc! You know the one, where everyone in perfect chorus says “Waheeeey” Once I had overcome this little mishap/s, I grew to love the job. After 3 years of working full time, I applied for an assistant managers role and undertook training at their Merry Hill branch.
After an intensive training programme, I passed and soon began managing shifts and the team. I learnt how to clean beer lines, stock counts, cashing up and all the other duties that accompany the role.
A few years later I moved out of Evesham and applied for a job closer to my new home. This role brought me to The Crabmill in Henley-in-Arden. A lovely pub owned by Lovely Pubs. I believe you can spread your wings further working in a non-corporate environment.
I learnt so many different skills working for such a well established ,independently run group. I would say this is where I gained my maturity as a manager. I worked under a very strong General manager who probably taught me all I know now as a manager. It wasn’t just about pouring the perfect pint or being able to write a rota, it was the rapport you built with your customers and suppliers. If you could get this step right, everything else falls into place.
In 2017, I took time out of work to become a Mummy to my beautiful daughter. This will always be my most rewarding & favourite job! I returned back to work after my maternity leave and started doing part time roles to ease myself back in to the pace of work.
It’s important to my family that our daughter learns the value of material things in life. And that to have nice things we need to work hard for them. It also helps us build our independence and learning to be self-sufficient. This is a moral we work hard to instil into her life. I subsequently applied for a deputy managers role working back with Lovely Pubs but this time at The Farm in Shirley. I, again worked with some great people and picked up a few more skills and attributes before joining one of their sister pubs a bit closer to home, The Moat House, Alcester.
I worked at The Moat House for a couple of years and loved the buzz of this restaurant. We were a popular venue for Teepee parties and it was so much fun helping to organise and execute these. Working alongside the organiser so that all their needs were catered for. This was an extremely busy pub, turning tables twice if not three times of an evening, but it was successful and a testament of the hard work put in by the companies directors.
But I needed an opportunity which would allow me to grow more into the manager I wanted to be. After hearing of the role at The Butchers Social, I decided to apply and emailed Mike.
This is where it all began....
I remember having my interview with Mike and having to admit that I don’t actually eat steak (not a great thing when you’re trying to get a job at The Butchers Social)... I thought I had probably blown my chances of securing the role but he took a chance on me and I am so glad he did.
I quickly realised how beautiful the food was here and why so many people rave about it, especially the chicken wings!
The feeling you have when you’re serving food with pride is amazing.
Mike had pretty much perfected his concept of creating an environment where guests could enjoy higher end food and drink without too much pretence and in a relaxing atmosphere.
Friday nights were always my favourite shift. The juxtaposition between the bar & restaurant was astounding. In the bar, the lighting was dimmed, the buzz was electric. Chicken wings were being devoured, people would gather and dance and the baby Guiness’ were flowing. If I could’ve bottled up the atmosphere of the bar on a Friday night, I would!
The restaurant, in contrast, was romantic & harmonious, every seat would be taken. Bottles of champagne and fine wines are being poured and enjoyed, there would be Cote De Bouef on many tables and the air was filled with laughter and clinks of glasses. It didn’t get much better than this.
It’s been tough with lockdown and not being able to utilise our skills and be a part of the environments we love. But reminiscing of times spent with customers and managing the front of house team makes it all worth the wait.
I have been blessed to work with an incredible team of young & aspiring ladies and gents, being able to encourage them and work with them to become supervisors and bar managers has got to be my most favourite aspect of being the front of house manager.
Very closely followed by working with Dan & the other awesome chefs who create and cook the most delicious food and of course, sampling their work too!
I hope to continue to build on my career working with Mike and the rest of the team and ultimately open many more restaurants together where I can build up new teams to succeed.
I can’t wait to be pouring pints and large G&T’s again when it is safe to do so.
Stay safe and see you all soon.