Make yourself at home: London Bridge Hotel inploi Team | 23.11.2017
Just a street away from London’s iconic Shard building and the foodie hotspot, Borough Market, London Bridge Hotel offers its clientele a boutique hotel experience in the centre of London. We met with the hotel’s Operations Food and Beverage Manager, Carlo, whose warmth and outgoing personality instantly put us at ease. We caught up with him over a coffee to find out more about what it’s like working at this beautiful hotel.
“I grew up in a restaurant,” Carlo says, “My parents used to have a restaurant in Italy, so when all my mates were playing, I was in the kitchen polishing cutlery. After 30 years I’m still polishing cutlery! So there’s a nice link.” Having joined London Bridge Hotel six years ago, Carlo still loves going to work every day, to a place that feels like home.
Carlo exemplifies passion for hospitality, “climbing the ladder from scratch”. When he first moved to London his English skills were poor, so he got a job in a Moroccan restaurant, working first as a Kitchen Porter and then Commis Chef. His love of food pushed him forward in his career, working his way up through London’s restaurant and hotel industry, from kitchen, to floor, to supervisory roles; and now holds the position of Operations Food and Beverage Manager.
He applied to the London Bridge Hotel before their bar had opened, taking on the challenge of its launch and subsequent rise in popularity. “We started from scratch - the equipment, the staff, the training. That was the challenge for me. This was an opportunity - to open a new place. I’d always dreamed about it.” The bar at London Bridge Hotel serves as more than just a spot for evening drinks. During the week, people who work outside London will book a table and occupy it for the entire day. Other London-based regulars pop in after work on a weekly basis for drinks and bite to eat before catching their train home from London Bridge station. And at the weekend, the hotel attracts leisure clients and tourists visiting the Shard, Borough Market and other local attractions.
The beauty of working at London Bridge Hotel lies in its boutique-style, offering intimacy and opportunity for progression on a much more personal level than larger hotels. “It’s not a chain, so we invest in people,” Carlo explains. “We have people who started as a Kitchen Porter, who are now a Supervisor. We have all the tools to help you achieve what you want, but it’s completely up to the person. You have to believe it”. The team are great advocates of cross-training, with each new employee given a tailor-made training scheme for their first few weeks.
For example, a Night Waiter will be given several weeks of training across the hotel’s food & beverage, bar and kitchen teams. This gives them the confidence to fulfil their role, get to know staff across the hotel, gain a holistic view of how the hotel runs day-to-day; and perhaps most importantly - provides insights into the opportunities available to learn and progress. “We are unique. Here you are not a number,” Carlo iterates, “We are a team”.
Carlo and the hotel’s management team are currently working to expand the hotel’s team activity calendar - creating more events, parties and opportunities for staff to relax and take time out together. The senior managers are also very open to contributions and ideas from their teams. The joy of a smaller team is the lack of bureaucracy. If people are creative and have an idea, they are listened to. The same applies for career progression regardless of staff position and hierarchy; which in result, provides greater job satisfaction. “If I want to achieve something, I can achieve it here.” Carlo says, “There is no limit. It’s just time and technique”.
Interested in joining the team at London Bridge Hotel? Check out their latest job openings on the London Bridge Company Page here.