Meet the Team | Nicole

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

It all started as a casual waitressing job at Dockside Restaurant & Bar in Wellington, NZ whilst I was studying at university. Within this, I worked seasonal shifts for Boomrock, a luxury lodge, until I took on a full-time duty management position at Dockside.

I was first employed at Marcus Restaurant just shy of six years ago as an Assistant Waiter, where I learnt the incredible and beautiful detail required for a Michelin-starred restaurant. I did a stint in reservations and recruitment in HR to get a greater understanding of how the business works, which ultimately lead to an Assistant Restaurant Manager position at Tredwells. After that, I became the Maitre D’ of Marcus and was able to really get in to the overall guest experience as a whole, which then lead to the Guest Relations Manager position I hold now.

Take me through a typical day as Guest Relations Manager – what does it involve?

A lot of my day is based at reception with my lovely receptionists. It’s the perfect spot to oversee the service and be able to jump in where I’m needed the most and to welcome our guests. You’ll often find me liaising with our offsite reservations team to assess the flow of bookings, facilitate show rounds and ensure the reception runs smoothly each day. Ultimately, I am interacting with our guests to make sure their whole experience is a fabulous one from start to finish, whatever it takes.

Have you had any big influences in your career? How have they affected it?

Honestly, I would have to say working with Chantelle Nicholson at Tredwells with her drive for sustainability in both the food and restaurant. As Kiwis, we’re taught from a young age to recycle and be sustainable and it’s always on my mind, especially as our industry has had a lot to answer for. It’s great to see this being led from the front and any chance I get to align with this, I’ll take it.

What is the best part of your job?

The exhilaration of a busy service with a full restaurant and coming out of it knowing the guests had a really, really good time.

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

The people! Between both the team and the guests there is no shortage of fabulous humans to connect with and share the experience with.

What’s your fave dish on The Gilbert Scott menu (past or present)?

There was a delicious scallop starter with various textures of peas a while ago that was just divine.

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

Do it! It’s going to be a rollercoaster of a ride and it will have its challenges but know there is a team around you and endless opportunities to learn endless amounts of knowledge across the industry. And don’t forget your smiles!!


What’s the first restaurant you’ll be visiting (or have already visited?!) post- lockdown? 

Probably Gazette. It’s a cute wee French restaurant nearby that has really good beef tartare and freshly baked Madeleines.

What was/is the first non-restaurant activity you’ll be doing once lockdown is lifted?

I’ve already escaped to the seaside to see my family for a couple of weeks. Nothing beats the sound of the waves or the fresh, salty air to forget about COVID for a wee while.

What have you been cooking in iso?

So much!! My partner gifted me the Dishoom cookbook so I’ve been making my way through their recipes- they are SO good! Cinnamon rolls are another firm favourite for the family and friends.

Have you discovered any books, shows, podcasts, that you’d suggest to others?

So many! Highly recommend two podcasts, one being The Offensive, of which a past colleague from Tredwells, Paul Waggott, has a highly entertaining lead role in. It’s about footy but Paul has created such a brilliant character it’s too good to stop. The other is Hospitality Meets by a fellow Panto pal, Phil Street, great chats with great hospo people!