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Welcome to our table: The Swan at Shakespeare's Globe

Welcome to our table: The Swan at Shakespeare's Globe inploi Team | 02.10.2017

Nested next to the world-renowned Globe Theatre, The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe is a popular restaurant, bar and event space holding pride of place by the River Thames with unrivalled views of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. We met with Gonzalo who is Floor Supervisor at The Swan, to find out more about what it’s like working at this iconic venue.

Having trained as an actor in Portugal, Gonzalo first moved to the UK to explore his dream, and like many was drawn to The Globe as the home of Shakespeare and London’s Southbank as a hub of British theatre. He began working at The Swan as a Commis Waiter and has since progressed in his career, moving from the restaurant to the bar at Floor Supervisor over the course of 3 years. “I had daily training - you pick it up as you go”, Gonzalo explains. “You show your skill, you own it and then you’re entitled to a better position. It’s more like a reward, rather than a path that they picked for me.” In addition, the team receive weekly training in wine, beer and spirits - consistently trying to improve their team knowledge.

The venue is a large, demanding a strong and diverse staff presence across the different floors and spaces. The bar team alone totals around 30 team members and Gonzalo’s role is therefore essential to ensure streamlined communication and an excellent standard of service is maintained between throughout the venue. Gonzalo depends heavily on team he works with, and for him, they are what make The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe a unique place to work. “Everyone is up for fun,” he explains. “We work hard but we’re still up for fun. I like that balance - being fulfilled because you’re doing your job, but not feeling like it’s a drag to come to work.” On discussing what the team look for in new hires, Gonzalo responds, “We look for someone who’s open to learn”, and it seems for someone who is willing to get stuck in. “Get ready!” He says jokingly, “Because it’s hard work. Rush hours can be really crazy - particularly before the shows. It’s very rewarding, but very hard work at the same time!”

At The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe there really is no limit as to where people can progress in their careers. “We have people who have started as Bartenders, who are now in finance.” Gonzalo says. Giving people opportunities to develop and progress is integral to their ethos without being too overbearing. “They give you the room to grow if you want. Especially in London, that’s so nice because everything moves so fast - but it’s very personal for a very very big place.” Although there is a career hierarchy, everyone is given the opportunity to grow: “They manage it very well, keeping it personal”, Gonzalo explains. After shifts, the team will go for work drinks or to grab dinner together. It’s a more go-with-the-flow style that works well for such a busy venue.

In spite of their busy schedules, the team manage to get together for two big staff parties throughout the year. One at Christmas and another at the end of summer season when the outdoor Globe Theatre closes for the winter period. “We celebrate that we’ve survived the season!” Gonzalo jokes. Because of their proximity, all the staff know the actors working at The Globe who are frequent punters in the bar post-performance! The end of summer party is therefore a great way for all of different factions of The Globe to come together. In some way or another their paths cross throughout the year - from themed events, through to wedding parties or cocktail masterclasses, “it’s very artisanal” Gonzalo explains, “we all help each other out!”

For more information on job openings available at this exciting venue space, visit The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe’s company page here.