Rachael Trewin has been Restaurant Manager of A1 Canteen since it opened in June 2018, and manages the day-to-day running of the restaurant.
What does a ‘good day in the office’ look like to you?
For me, the perfect day would be busy, but smooth service. Not too many emails and happy customers.
What’s the best thing about your job?
No day is ever the same, you’re always doing something different. You get to meet so many great people and learn so many new skills.
We often hear about the challenges of being a woman in hospitality. Can you identify any of those challenging areas? What do you do to overcome them?
Unfortunately, I still often experience the ‘Mr Manager’ problem, with people asking for the manager: ‘Is HE in today?’ and ‘Oh you’re the boss?’, and then, when faced with conflict, your confidence and assertion can still be seen as ‘being a bitch.’ But for the most part I’ve been very lucky with my experiences as a woman in hospitality. I’ve always been surrounded by incredibly supportive men and women.
What are your tips for aspiring restaurant managers?
Slow down, take your time and make the most of any learning opportunity you can. It can be hard not to compare yourself to people you look up to and what they have achieved. However it’s important to understand they we’re also in your situation once and it took them time to get where they are.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self about forging a career in hospitality?
I don’t think 16-year-old me was thinking about anything to do with my future career! However, my advice wouldn’t be dissimilar to what I mentioned before. Take your time, find out what you love to do and soak up as many learning opportunities as possible. And you don’t have to decide right away. Your choice at 16 doesn’t have to be your choice five years later.
Why is it important to mark International Women’s Day?
It’s a great opportunity to take time and look back at what we’ve achieved and how far we’ve come as women and a great reminder in our busy lives to keep up the hard work, because we’ve still got a long way to go!
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