We interviewed a few special ladies for International Women’s Day and this is what they had to say!

Samara Reid – Group Bar Manager

What is something you would like to achieve in the coming years?
I would love to complete all WSET levels & become more accomplished in the wine world.
I’m also super excited to continue being a part of opening more venues and learning more about different cuisines and palates.

If you could choose one cocktail to depict yourself, what would it be?
A mandarin Tommy’s margarita!
60mL arrette blanco, 25mL fresh lime, 10mL agave, 1 ripe mandarin muddled whole, shaken and strained into an icy rocks glass.
Simple but so, so delicious! 

What influenced you into bartending?
Watching ‘Coyote Ugly’ as a kid was definitely the Kickstarter of my dreams.

Can you give some words of advice to the ladies of the bartending world?
Go and sit at the best bars, watch and learn and ask questions! Invest in some good sturdy shoes and be consistent with challenging yourself creatively.

FAYE KIRKBRIDE – Venue Manager Chica Bonita 

What do you love most about working in hospitality?
The people. It’s definitely not rocket science working in hospitality and we are certainly not saving lives but to be that person that could be responsible for putting a smile on someone’s face or giving them the chance to forget their troubles for just a couple of short hours is the reason I love this industry and the reason I have been amongst it for so long. 

 What is a memorable experience you have had in your career?
 I have been in this industry over a decade so it’s hard to pin-point one particular experience. The things I’ve held onto though are the relationships I’ve made along the way. Some of my nearest and dearest & most important people to me were met whilst prancing round a venue slinging out some kind of food or bevy.       

Tell me what it means to you to be a woman in hospitality?
I love that in my job role I can be a version of myself that is strong and can be seen and recognised for my hard work and efforts. This isn’t always the case and I know I’m not alone when I say there are times when I feel like as a woman, I have gone forward 10 steps and knocked back 20.
For me personally, that’s where being a part of such a supportive team kicks into gear. Our group in general have ways to make you feel empowered, particularly being a part of a small venue like Chica with a team who build each other up to be the best versions of themselves – even if you’re struggling to see it yourself. That is something as I, a woman, find special to be a part of. 

RUBY REID – Venue Manager Sunset Sabi 

Who is your biggest inspiration in the female hospitality world?
 I am a big fan of chef Ellie Bouhadana from Hope St Radio in Melbourne – she is so passionate about food and produce and communicates that through her work and reminds me of the fun to be had in hospo. Also, my housemate, Perrine – such a badass. 

Do you feel like women have equality in the hospitality world?
I think we are getting there, but it is still imperative that all of us (especially those of us in management or leadership roles) are conscious of making our kitchens, bars and floor teams a safe space for women to work and grow.  

Have ever felt unsupported as a woman in your career? Explain:
Having been in hospo since I was 14, I have definitely encountered some unsavoury behaviour from people – be it colleagues or customers, but in those moments, I was always lucky to have support from other female colleagues who helped me understand my worth and call out unacceptable behaviour.  

ALICE MATHERS – Venue Manager Busta

What inspired you to work in hospitality?
I really love food would be the short answer and being able to work with something I’m passionate about makes every day enjoyable.
I love interacting with people from all walks of life and meeting all kinds of interesting guests.
I’m definitely someone who thrives working face to face with people and I love the adrenaline of a busy dinner service. 

What is a memorable experience or achievement you have had in your career?
My biggest career achievement would be opening my own restaurant.
It helped me understand how a business in hospitality works and has given me invaluable skills to be a good manager.
I’m really proud of what I have achieved at Busta so far and the incredible team we have – front and back of house. The Busta team are a little family and I think this really shows in the experience guests have. 

 As a woman in hospitality, what has been your biggest challenge?
Trying to take the umbrellas out when I’m setting up for service…
Seriously though, I don’t feel like the challenges of hospitality are gender specific.
It’s a hard, fast paced profession and you’ve either got that drive and can handle it or you don’t.
We have a predominantly female team at Busta and I think our industry has an abundance of opportunities for women.