My first day at Peach was wearing a safety helmet and high vis jacket, walking round the building site that would soon become The Rose and Crown in Warwick, our first pub, back in 2002.
Since then I’ve worked in pretty much every position possible, from Kitchen Porter, to Chef, from Barman to cleaner to opening three of our pubs as GM. Its not all glamour to make the pubs Peachy, but it certainly has been great fun. Having worked in every nitty gritty role, I feel its given me the tools I need to be a truly Peached recruiter.
Danny Meyer (one of our Heroes who’s opened some of the most fantastic restaurants in world) wisely said “The only way a company can grow is to stay true to its soul is to recruit and retain great people – it’s that simple, and its that hard” and this is our mantra.
Having spent 5 years running my own external Recruitment Company, it’s so good to be home again and work with the crazy lot that make it happen every day.
Day to day, I meet many interesting people, and nothing comes close to that moment when I interview a fellow Peach that just gets it – a like-minded, passionate foody, who wants to make each day count, and who has that boundless energy it takes to make a pub sing. When you know, you know!
Working internally brings the extra reward of making sure our new recruits get bedded in properly, and watching their journeys through The Route to Partnership genuinely makes me happy. So many companies talk about promotion from within, only to let their eyes wander to outside talent, so I’m proud to say we really do stick to our word, and last year we promoted too many to mention, and we have many more in the wings just waiting for a new opening – watch this space, its going to be an exciting year for Peach.
The backgrounds of the people I meet are varied, from little gems hidden in independents to really experienced caterers working in top quality, world recognised companies. For me, it’s all about the individual (and we encourage individuality), and I truly believe in meeting most people that show interest in working with us. Not everyone has the right experience on paper, but Peach is personality first, skill second – we can teach you how to carry three plates, cook some beautiful food or pour the perfect pint. We can’t teach you how to care, come in with a smile on your face every day, inspire the Team you work with and love the industry we work in. That’s down to you and the most important thing to us.
When I’m interviewing I’m not thinking about if this person is going to understand the P&L, smash their GP target, and make us an extra buck or two. I’m thinking “would I go out for dinner with this person?” “Would I invite this person round for Sunday lunch with my family?” “Would I be disappointed if I turned up at their pub and it was their day off?” If the answer is yes, we have a pretty good chance of working together, and our guests have a pretty good chance of feeling loved.
I love the fact my role is so varied. My week isn’t just about interviews. Far from it. I’m involved in training, marketing, central projects (such as helping to organise Peachfest, our annual Team party which is more Glastonbury than office disco), mentoring and coaching, and general support to our new guys as they get their head around our ethos, values, and what makes us tick. I even do the odd stint back on the floor, behind the bar or even in the kitchen under the rather worried gaze of the Manager or Head chef who’s unfortunate enough to be in charge that day.
Last year I was nominated to go to Barcelona with one of our Gin Suppliers, which I’m sure was down to my love of Spain rather than my gin drinking capacity…. or maybe both. I got to go to London to get involved with industry events, a few award ceremonies, Fishstock (our summer festival at The Fishes, Oxford) and the Ops Directors birthday party in a tepee. Just a few memorable moments, and part of the fun we all get to share in.
The quest is constant – how do I find passionate, talented, exceptional caterers who will join in and help us make Peach the Best Place to Work in Hospitality (for a sixth year!), and the Best Pubs for our Guests to enjoy? By sharing ownership, encouraging individuality, only serving the Good Stuff and striving to be Peachy every day, it’s easy to Make Life Peachy for our team and guests!
If you want to work with inspirational people, regardless of the stage you’re at on your journey, then I would love to hear from you. Please contact me on 07701311723, or email me at Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear from you and look forward to meeting you soon!