Hello Barbaros! Tell us, when did you join Bancone?
I joined Bancone 4 months ago.
And how long have you worked in the restaurant industry?
I got my first job in the restaurant industry 15 years ago as a kitchen porter washing dishes and climbed the ranks ever since then.
What are some of the things involved with being a restaurant manager that we wouldn’t think of?
Being a restaurant manager involves so much more than what you’d think! We are basically orchestrators/conductors. We keep an eye everything… What time people sit down, how fast they are ordering, how many orders the kitchen have received, anticipate if they are at capacity, when to slow things down and when to speed things up whilst always taking in to consideration each individual tables requirements – is it a group of friends having a long overdue catch-up, a first date or a business deal taking place over dinner. We are there to facilitate a seamless experience and cater for a whole array of occasions.
Something you wouldn’t consider as a diner, unless of course it wasn’t being done perfectly, is the whole ambience of the restaurant; from lighting levels, the temperature in the room to the pace of the music we choose, all of these components make sure the atmosphere is just right for the time of day. It’s a symphony of a thousand different elements that are pulled together to make you have an exceptional experience that in some way appears completely effortless if done properly!
Do you have a method of how you seat people in a restaurant?
Actually, we do! We start by seating customers with large spaces between them we then fill the middles tables until eventually you have someone sitting next to you but it is a gradual process so your privacy doesn’t feel rapidly encroached on.
We often see staff huddled together in a meeting before the restaurant opens. Let us in on the secrets!
In the industry it’s known as a staff briefing! It’s a great tool to set the tone for the shift ahead, introduce new team members, try specials, discuss customer feedback, any special occasions on the day. It’s also a perfect opportunity for a pep talk to get everyone pumped and ready for service. Working in a restaurant sometimes feels like we’re on stage so it’s important that we leave any “unwanted” vibes at the door before we step into service. The briefing is therefore such an important part of the process to make sure we deliver as a team and exceed expectations.
Dealing with celebrities
We’re super proud to have international celebrities dine with us but we don’t kiss and tell! It’s so exciting for the team too but we know very well that these people are in the public eye 24/7 and their privacy is rare and of great value to them. Murmurings and acknowledgement from other customers we can only do our best to manage, but as a team it is so important that we behave with discretion and ultimately respect their privacy.
As your job, is it important for you to visit other restaurants?
Absolutely! We need to keep abreast of what other restaurants are doing, what newbies have entered the scene but honestly, this isn’t a chore… It stems from a love of restaurants, dining rooms & food rather than because it’s my job. If I considered this just a job, I wouldn’t have the necessary attention to detail to succeed.
Benefits of being a restaurant manager within the industry?
There’s an unwritten mutual understanding when other hospitality staff find out you work in the industry. Even in London, the hospitality industry can feel like a small place and after 15 years working here, you get to recognise and know a lot of people. It’s a demanding industry and there is definitely a mutual respect between industry colleagues. We are often the politest customers and most generous hosts.
Thanks for your time Barbaros!
If you’re interested in joining the team, drop us an email and your CV to [email protected]