Meet the Team | Kayla

As the Guest Relations Manager for Tredwells, Kayla is often the smiling person greeting every guest at the door. She shares how she ended up in the role, some of her biggest lessons and what’s been keeping her busy during lockdown.

Can you give me an overview of your journey in hospitality so far? How did you end up as Guest Relations Manager at Tredwells?

A completely accidental career! I always said growing up I would never work in hospitality – now I don’t think I will ever give it up!

My career in hospo started like a lot of others — bartending and waitressing while studying. After moving to Brisbane in 2013, I started working in one of the biggest pubs in QLD, talked my way into working the functions and events, and quickly rose through the ranks to Event Manager within 7 months. I had 7 event spaces over 4 floors to run, seeing over 2000 patrons each night to look after – I was busy!

Needing a break from the physicality and the demanding hours of the role, I stepped into e’cco bistro, a one-hat Brisbane institution. Here, I was Events Manager, running a 30-seat private dining space, 80 seat restaurant and an off-site catering business (so much for a break!). I loved this role and met some amazing people, however I wanted to try something new within hospitality, and thought I would give recruitment a try. Not for me.

In late 2016, I started a role with a private event space, Moda Events Portside. Here I was the Sales and Events Manager. This saw me organising the most stunning weddings I have ever seen, along with corporate days, uni balls… everything you can imagine!

In early 2018, my husband and I moved to London, and in early 2019 I started with Tredwells. This came about after a 12-month search for the right role. My husband actually let me know of a position and I swiftly jumped on it! Turns out waiting for the right role paid off, and I haven’t looked back!

 

Kayla, Guest Relations Manager, Tredwells

What does a day as Guest Relations Manager involve?

It is definitely a varied role, which is really exciting. No two days are the same.

I am the first one in each day, which gives me a great head start (and access to the coffee machine!). The biggest part of my day is handing event enquiries for our clients, and ensuring the restaurant has everything it needs to function for a day.

I make sure we have details of our events and bookings for the day, the floor has enough menus, the kitchen has up-to-date information, and the floor plan is ready for lunch. After lunch service, I ensure we have everything we need for our busy dinner, along with organising the next 3 days of events and communications. Whilst doing this, I am responsible for all calls and emails into the restaurant, and ensuring the office runs smoothly.

Have you had any big influences in your career? 

Each role has had an impact on me in some way, whether positive or negative. They’ve had big learning moments, which has ultimately led me to where I am today. One particular mentor that stands out is Chef Javier Codina, from Moda. He taught me that, no matter what is happening with a client/ event/ situation, there is always going to be a positive outcome if you are open minded, listen and stay focused.

What are the worst and best parts of your job?

The best part of my job is being able to create an experience for a customer. Its always such a great feeling to know that your guests have left with a big smile on their faces, and you helped create that.

And I actually don’t have a worst, I love my job!

 

 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt while working in the hospitality industry?

To wear the right shoes!

What’s your favourite part of working in the hospitality industry in general?

It’s the old cliché, but getting the chance to meet so many different people on a daily basis. It’s so fascinating to me to meet people from all walks of life.

What’s your favourite dish on the Tredwells menu (past or present)?

Oh, tough question! I absolutely love the Hake from the current menu (hake, lentils, soppressata, crème fraiche) and cant go without the truffle mac n cheese!

What advice would you give to those who are interested in a career in guest relations?

Be prepared to face any situation. It is such a varied role, between front and back of house, and you really need to be able to think on your feet, be creative, and organised.

ISO QUICK FIRE

What’s the first restaurant you’ll be visiting when lockdown is over?
Trinity in Clapham Common.

What is the first non-restaurant activity you’ll be doing once lockdown is lifted?
Heading to the hairdresser, beautician and the pub!

What have you been cooking in iso?
Luckily for me, I have a live-in chef (the husband), so I take care of the sweet treats. I’ve been trying to perfect my brownie recipe!

Have you discovered any books, shows, podcasts, that you’d suggest to others?
Ive just finished reading ‘This is Going to Hurt’ by Adam Kay – hilarious, sometimes gruesome, stories from the ER.

Meet the other members of the Marcus Wareing team