Setting Our Employees Up for Success - Celebrating Ewan’s Achievement
Our employees are the cornerstone of our success, which is why we always encourage them to learn and evolve. For many, working with us has been their first real working experience and we’ve witnessed incredible personal & professional transformations and watched them realise their potential and go on to do amazing work in their later career stage.
Generally, work in hospitality is not regarded as the most prestigious or sought-after one but its real value is often underappreciated. Ask anyone and they will tell you that their first job was in hospitality. Our industry provides the essential (first) work experience that not many others offer but often require. Not only that, the true value of our industry lies in the potential of developing people’s skills, both transferable and practical.
We believe that developing our team and helping them access the means they need to lead a successful life (whatever their definition of success is) & unlock their talents & passions will positively reflect in our Cafe’s performance.
Meet Ewan, A Rising Star
Today, we’re celebrating the fantastic achievement of Ewan who’s worked with us for 3 years. We watched Ewan transform from a shy & quiet young adult into a confident, motivated and tenacious professional who’s ready to take on any challenge with a smile on his face. He often takes an earlier train to work when he knows we’ll be busy and is extremely hard-working and reliable.
Ewan has recently secured his spot to Study Architecture at Strathclyde University and successfully bidded to be part of the invigilation team going to Venice as part of the Scotland+Venice Architecture Exhibit, which is a very prestigious achievement. Ewan along with only a handful of other participants has been selected from a large pool of candidates. We are super proud to have him as one of our colleagues.
About Scotland+Venice Architecture Exhibit
In light of Ewan’s recent achievement, we thought it was about time we introduced him and so we conducted a short interview. We talked about Ewan’s work at The Real Food Cafe and how it helped him develop his skills & confidence, his career aspirations as well as his hobbies and interests.
Read on to learn what he told us:
How long have you worked at The Real Food Café and why did you choose to work at TRFC?
This will be my 3rd Summer. After working in a few other businesses in the area, I heard the Café was looking for staff. With the restaurant being a local business and my brother already employed, I decided to apply.
With College running from August to June, the seasonality of the job was perfect for me. I could study during the quieter months, work weekends when needed, and during the summer work as much as I could to save money for the year ahead.
Can you tell us about your job role at The Real Food Café?
My primary job is taking customer orders and preparing drinks. When needed, I also act as a host. It’s my responsibility our customers feel welcome and informed about our menu.
Is working in The Real Food Café your first hospitality experience?
All my work experience so far has been in the hospitality industry. I worked in other establishments in the area before.
What do you enjoy most about working at TRFC and hospitality in general?
I really enjoy working at the Café because of the people I get to work with. The staff are well trained and work to everyone’s strengths to run the kitchen efficiently.
My strengths lie in my customer service & communication skills. I take satisfaction in delivering a great experience to our customers and in making sure that the team in the kitchen gets all the information they need for everything to run smoothly.
I get to meet a great variety of people from all overt the world and I enjoy hearing about their experiences and life stories.
How is The Real Food Café as an employer?
In a word? Considerate. My working hours revolve around the train timetable and as such I am not always able to do the same hours as my colleagues, but the Cafe has always tried to work to my schedule and in part, I always try to work my best in respect of this.
The Café recognizes that the work can be hard and the hours can be long. They pay well compared to other restaurants in reflection of this. Additionally, the Cafe offers a structured package of benefits to show us their appreciation. Knowing a business respects your effort and time is a great motivator.
Tell us about your recent academic achievements and what you had to do to qualify as a participant in the Venice Biennale.
I am currently studying for an HND in Computer-Aided Architectural Design and Technology and will be moving on to study Architecture at Strathclyde.
The effort I have put into my studies has greatly contributed to my success in being accepted into university and this has also been reflected in my successful bid to be part of the invigilation team going to Venice as part of the Scotland+Venice Architecture Exhibit.
While interviewing for the Scotland+Venice Exhibit, I had to demonstrate my ability to represent the group I’ll be going with and be the first point of contact. The skill and determination I have proven over the last year, have set me up for success, and whilst I know I am only at the start of a long journey, I am looking forward to the challenges ahead of me.
You're embarking on a new academic journey, that's exciting. You've waited for a few years before applying to University? Are there any reasons why you didn't go right after high school?
After finishing my final Highers, I believed I was not ready for university. I knew that university needed a certain level of maturity to be successful and at 18 I wasn’t. Just out of school and unsure of what I really wanted to study and become, I decided to just work for a few years.
Working in retail and hospitality built my courage and I found myself capable of much more than I originally thought.
When pondering the possibility of continuing working in hospitality and building a skillset from there, I decided to return to education and focus on a career.
What are your career goals?
I have always struggled to stay in a job for more than a few years, and I believe this is due to getting bored with the repetitiveness of certain jobs. Working in a field where one job can be completely different from the next and is engaging is a goal.
Architecture encompasses a wide range of careers and skill sets, where I can learn even more and challenge myself.
Are there any skills that you've gained from working at TRFC that helped you get closer to your goals?
It’s been helpful to get used to working in an international team. I’ve also grown akin to delivering a great customer experience and feel more confident speaking publicly.
What are your hobbies / What do you get up to when you aren’t working?
Due to the intensity of the course I am studying, I find myself with less personal time than I wish but when I do get some I enjoy playing Video Games and watching Netflix to unwind.
I feel it is important to get rest when I am not working or studying so I also do nothing sometimes, letting my mind wander and enjoying the peacefulness I find at home.
And last but not least, what is your favourite dish on The Real Food Café menu :) ?
Tandoori Chicken Burger & Chips