Simon Raynor - Restaurant Manager Ottery St Mary - Otter Garden Centres
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Simon Raynor – Restaurant Manager Ottery St Mary

September 19, 2016 Otter Team Members No Comments

Keeping the restaurant running smoothly

Simon Raynor Assistant Restaurant ManagerEducation

A levels in Art, Chemistry and Physics

Currently studying for a degree in Software Development with the OU

My career background

I’m a local lad, from Rockbeare and I worked at Otter Garden Centres when I was younger, waiting tables. I spent a year travelling abroad – North America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia – and when I returned I took a job at Boston Tea Party in Honiton as an Assistant Kitchen Manager – I’d had some training in the Otter Nurseries kitchens which helped. After four years I became Kitchen Manager and worked in several different branches, then move to La Mocha in Sidmouth as Head Chef with my own kitchen. I approached Otter Nurseries to see if there were any vacancies, and was taken on as a chef. After two years I was promoted to Assistant Restaurant Manager.

A typical day

I manage the restaurant staff and deal with everyday issues, whether that’s with staff or customers, as well as overseeing procedures in the kitchen including health and safety and making sure the restaurant runs smoothly even in busy periods.

I’m fairly hands-on in the kitchen, and involved with sourcing ingredients. I find myself doing a lot of development work, with new ideas and recipe testing.  But not just food, I’ll look at potential developments for products such as plates.

What I like best about my job

I really enjoy the development side of my role, trying out new products and flavours. I also enjoy managing the kitchen staff – I like bringing the team together

Advice for someone interested in this type of role

It’s really helpful to have a restaurant background – in the Otter Garden Centre kitchens if I taste something and it’s not quite right, I can tell what’s missing! It’s also helpful to have some experience of managing people, though this doesn’t have to be in a restaurant environment.