A coffee break with...

A coffee break with...

What does your job typically entail?
My job entails an ever-changing mix of strategy and execution across many different facets of business. As a company with over 3,500 employees, it also involves a great amount of people management.

How did you get into the industry?
I got my break in the food and beverage industry through a part-time job as a student when I began delivering pizza, which then took me into running pizza delivery outlets. I got into the motorway service area sector by deliberately targeting the travel market when looking for my next role in 2018. This sector provided a more stable career, having been within the more volatile casual dining market during the three years prior.

What’s your favourite part of your working day?
Early morning. Coffee tastes best first thing and we’re normally quieter at this time, so I can chat to the team without interrupting the flow of the site. It means there are fewer disturbances when we’re trying to get work done, although of course great service for our customers is our top priority.

And your least favourite?
Immediately before lunchtime. I love to eat and with Leon outside my office door, I am always looking forward to my next Leon lunch. Will it be the chicken salad, Sicilian chicken meatballs or maybe the vegan Love Burger?

What’s your favourite food and beverage?
My favourite food has to be mushroom or truffle. But as for my favourite beverage, I love great coffee and nice wine. I’m also partial to a tea and I don’t mind mint, so it very much depends on time of day and mood!

And your least favourite?
There’s pretty much nothing I don’t like, but if I had to choose, I would ditch sweet in favour of savoury. I’m not a big fan of chocolate desserts either. On the drink front, I guess kombucha doesn’t really do it for me.

What is the biggest factor currently affecting the industry?
For us at Roadchef today it’s general consumer confidence. This manifests in road traffic growth being slower than the 10-year average and we thrive on traffic growth.

What one piece of advice would you offer someone working in the industry?
I would encourage people to feel good about yourself when you make someone else feel good about themselves. We’re in hospitality and we need to make others feel good, whether customers or colleagues. If we don’t make the world a nicer place, then nobody will. You can still have demanding standards without dragging people down.