From Barista to Bar Manager: Brenda Andrini, Granger & Co.

Can you really develop a career as a Barista or Bartender? And what does it take to work your way up? We got chatting to Brenda Andrini to give you all the deets on this exciting path!

From Barista to Group Bar Manager across all four London Granger & Co. venues, hear Brenda Andrini’s career story as she spills the tea on everything involved in working up the ranks behind the bar.

Having moved to London eight years ago, Brenda has worked for the well-loved Australian all-day dining restaurant, Granger & Co, for over six years – as her third job in London.

Brenda Andrini, Group Bar Manager at Granger & Co.

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“I’ve always been quite passionate about hospitality but I never really saw a career in it. I initially came to London because I wanted to do a PhD. I needed some money to support my studies, so I first started working for a company, where I learnt the basis for how to make a coffee.”

“I soon found that I really enjoyed making coffee, and I got more and more involved with it. In the first place I worked at, I worked with a geeky guy who firstly taught me the basics, and I soon got more passionate about it. I then moved to a different company with him and learnt more, before moving to Granger & Co.”

“We’re an all day restaurant, so at day our speciality is coffee and fresh juices, smoothies and healthy drinks. We also do a lot of twists on classic cocktails. Wine is also a big focus for us – in the past year we’ve made a move towards natural, unfiltered wine. So we serve a range of different drinks, and if you’re not familiar with this style of drinks, working at Granger & Co. is a great opportunity to learn something new.”

“Before, I had worked as a Barista in exhibition venues and a little cafe so I had not really dealt with restaurant customer service; it was more just easy chats when giving customer’s their coffee.”

“But when I moved to Granger & Co, I had a lot of contact with customers as I worked directly at the bar where people sit to eat and drink. I learnt how to really serve and look after customers, which I really enjoyed. It was this, combined with the Granger & Co experience, which is what made me decide to make a living out of Hospitality.”

Granger and Co Kings Cross

Granger and Co., King’s Cross

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“I didn’t really have any experience when I began as a Barista in London. I had worked a few times behind the bar in a club in Italy at the till, but I really didn’t know anything much about it.”

“I think that the main thing is attitude. When I trial people behind the bar, I don’t care so much about experience, it’s really more about their personality coming across and if they are proactive.”

“I think a really good thing about Granger & Co is that it’s a place that really gives you the opportunity to learn. There’s always someone more experienced than you when you join who will teach you. We cultivate a friendly and supportive environment. You’ll never be stuck polishing glasses for eight hours a day – you have the opportunity to learn different things.”

“We have a great training structure in place; we make sure that everybody gets fully trained whether that’s with coffee, going to the roastery that we work with, whether it’s in house with myself, or whether it’s cocktails, teaching people the classics.”

“Our suppliers come around 4 times a year for tasting – to get everybody engaged and learning the wine we serve. You can really learn a lot. You don’t necessarily need to have experience.”

“Granger & Co. give you the opportunity to grow. All of our bar managers, myself included, were trained up in the company from the bar. I was initially a Barista and then I became a Supervisor after six months. They gave me the tools and the chance to grow. That’s what I love about the company – there’s never a no. If you want something there’s always the chance to get it.”

“I remember a chat I had back in 2016 with my General Manager at the time and asking “Does the next bar manager need to be a guy? Only guys seemed to be applying and I wanted to get the position for myself”. The environment I was coming from in my previous experiences was very male-led and I wanted to change that. Of course, he said “Why would we not give you the opportunity?”. It was after that chat where I started getting trained up to Manager level, and I have loved it since!”

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