Restaurant manager, the Hand & Flowers, Marlow
Nominator Lourdes Dooley, general manager, the Hand & Flowers
Proudest moment "Celebrating 10 years of working here."
Greatest inspiration "Lourdes Dooley, who has worked here for 12 years, has mentored me and helped shape me into the manager I am today."
Why hospitality is a great career "It rewards you with comradeship. This industry gives you a second home and a family as well as friends."
It goes without saying that Katie Mulliss' role as restaurant manager at the Hand & Flowers contributed to the restaurant achieving its second Michelin star. Less known, perhaps, is that she gained her solid front of house experience through hard work and determination.
Her career at the Hand & Flowers kicked off in 2009 when she joined as a waitress and it took her through the ranks, from head hostess and assistant restaurant manager to restaurant manager in 2017.
Throughout, what she demonstrates in spades is her versatility. She helped the team open sister outlets the Coach, the Butcher's Tap and the Shed, and has overseen the extension of the bar at the Hand & Flowers, changing the dynamics of service. And as well as making sure the two-Michelin-starred restaurant runs smoothly, she maintains standards across the 11 suites, which stand at 90% occupancy.
Another remit is to train and develop the 50 front of house staff. As well as staff induction, rota and knowledge development, she takes time to learn about the cooking techniques, ingredients and provenance of each dish. But while her attention to detail is remarkable, it's her customer service that sets her apart. She has even been known to bring people in off the streets when they were stuck in snow, giving them complimentary hot beverages.
It's this warmth that has earned her the description of being the heart and soul of the front of house team. She has also completed her WSET Level 2, to set an example for students who don't want to go to university but do want to build a great career in hospitality.
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