Francesca Dickinson is only 24 yet she is already the deputy manager and area sales coordinator at the Slug and Lettuce, which is operated by Stonegate Pub Company. She has managed to develop quickly up the management ladder and is striving to achieve big things with her career in the hospitality sector.
“I was studying for my degree in Psychology when I started working part-time at the Slug & Lettuce. The bar underwent a refurbishment when I graduated and a full-time position was up for grabs – I knew that was the job for me” said Francesca eagerly.
With the door into the world of hospitality open, Francesca gained three promotions within Stonegate in just two years, from bartender to duty and party manager then on to assistant manager. In her current role Francesca is the deputy manager and area sales coordinator for the North East.
“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve such vast career progression without my manager – Andy. He really believes I’m a natural leader and has provided invaluable career guidance and support. Albert’s Theory of Progression, which is apart of Stonegate Pub Company’s internal development programme, has taught me even more than what I’d expect to learn on a management degree. The support in the company is amazing.”
Party manager workshops throughout the North East cover how to manage the marketing and pre booked sales for Slug & Lettuces’ and Missoula’s. Training which includes the promoting of cocktail master classes, new menu launches and social media activity, are overseen by Francesca. The exciting role allows her to deal with the aspects of hospitality that she loves – the people and brand offers.
“I’ve enjoyed each of my jobs in hospitality, they’ve allowed me to take on responsibility, have variety in daily tasks and interact with a range of diverse and interesting people. My first taste of responsibility came with training newcomers as a bartender and from that day I have worked hard to achieve more.”
In contrast to the common misconception of working for a large hospitality company, Francesca has the freedom to project her personality into the site and operations rather than just following procedure. Duties such as undertaking the stock count and health and safety checks are necessary to get the site in working order. However, finding new and exciting ways to engage the team and creating events are when you can really demonstrate flair.
“The bar is always looking for boundaries to be pushed with fresh and innovative ideas. I’ve been involved in some brilliant events like a James Bond themed 21st birthday party, the site was decorated in true Bond style as a casino. We even had team members dressed up in cocktail dresses and tuxedos handing out champagne and canapés.
“There really is more to a career in hospitality that what meets the eye. I once thought it was just pint pulling and rota writing – I didn’t release I would make so many friends, enjoy myself and learn so much.”
Francesca said; “The move into hospitality has been great. The sector has lots to offer graduates, school leavers and college leavers. I still have dreams to becoming an area manager and working with a range of different brands- there is no limit in hospitality.