I love the social aspect as well as having the chance to bring some joy to people’s day through soul-warming food and great hospitality
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Passion, hard work and obsession are not the only components to building a successful business, guidance from experienced people who’ve been there and done that is equally as important.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your own)?
Prairie Fire BBQ (my local), which serves some of the best slow cooked meat I’ve had. For a group of restaurants I’d say Franco Manca, its value for money is incredible.
What motivates you?
Three things: seeing people develop/grow, happy faces when people leave our restaurants and being successful!
What keeps you up at night?
Trying to solve problems I haven’t managed to resolve during the day.
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
Ashik, our operations director. He’s been in restaurants all his life and I’ve learned so much from him about people.
What’s been your best business decision?
And the worst?
Not getting more restaurant experience prior to opening our first restaurant.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Be prepared to work much harder and smarter than you ever previously imagined. It’s 10 times harder than you think, even before Covid.
If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
The negative perception of the hospitality industry in the UK. I wish it were more like in Switzerland where hospitality is considered a prestigious career path. Working in hospitality requires a diverse skills and talents, which I don’t believe the UK currently recognises.
What time do you wake up?
Around 7am in summer and a bit later in winter (depending on when the sun rises)
How do you let off steam?
I love Emilia’s so am usually working six to seven days a week. But I’m also very competitive and enjoy sports and staying active and playing football, tennis, poker, chess as well as cold water swimming, which helps to clear the mind.
Do you prefer a night on the tiles or a night on the sofa?
A good balance of both
Describe a typical Sunday?
A few hours work, some sports, a family lunch and some downtime playing chess or poker.
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Started Emilia’s without any previous restaurant experience.
What are you currently reading?
I recently finished Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, which gives a great insight into the differences between men and women.
What boxset are you currently watching?