Managing a restaurant is quite literally an act of plate-spinning, but Sam Devitt of Tandoor Chop House has it mastered. There since the very beginning, he’s responsible for things such as scheduling staff, ordering ingredients and ensuring the floor’s looking spick and span before service. Here, he takes us through a typical day.
The Guardian, Spotify and a double espresso is how I normally start my day. I love getting into the restaurant early in the morning. It gives me a chance to clear my emails, messages and anything else that needs to be done before anyone else gets in…and lets me avoid the peak-hour tube!
Following that, I check on the previous days’ revenues, product mixes, rotas, stock controls, online reviews and, of course, catch up on anything that is happening on Workplace from Facebook. After looking back on the previous day, it’s time to look forward. I take note of group reservations, the upcoming days’ bookings, any VIPs and follow up on any points from the handover.
Usually, all of this takes me through to 11-11:30am, when we start doing our site checks and walk throughs to make sure everything is on point and looking perfect for the upcoming day. Then comes service time. If it is an early week service, we are usually busy from 12-3pm. Towards the weekend, we can be full from 12pm right through until last orders at 10.30pm. On busy days we can do upwards of 100 covers for a lunch service and north of 150 covers for dinner service. As you can imagine, a 48-seat restaurant doing 250+ covers a day keeps you on your toes!
Working at Tandoor Chop House is super dynamic. Every day is completely different. Having been involved since pre-opening in 2016, it has been incredible to see how the restaurant has developed from very humble beginnings into a very strong brand with a great following of Londoners, locals, tourists and business clientele. We have built the restaurant on hard work and fun while evolving our service, food and beverage offering.
We have a brilliant kitchen, FOH and management team, most of whom have been with us for a few years now. This has given the restaurant a solid and consistent identity. I truly couldn’t do it without them!
I have had the great joy to be able to develop and watch many staff members blossom and progress over the past few years. Watching all my hard-working, dedicated and talented colleagues do their thing day in, day out is what inspires me to do better.
Outside the four walls of Tandoor Chop House, I try and get out to as many new restaurant, cocktail/wine bars and cafes as I can. You always pick up on things when it all just ‘clicks’. Everything from small detailed tableware to menu design, service, or the overall package.
The beautiful thing about the hospitality industry is that you never stop learning or evolving. It’s easy to pick up the basics on running restaurants or bars, but incredibly hard to master.
On my days off, you’ll probably find me watching Manchester United battle through another miserable season or planning my next trip to a European wine region.
Want to join Sam and his team? Take a peek at all available jobs here.