PizzaExpress: Q & A with Restaurant Manager, Beki Galvin

Hear Beki’s story of how she worked her way up to management, and learn about how PizzaExpress‘ welcoming culture is creating life-long careers for those interested in Hospitality.

We all know and love PizzaExpress. But what makes it such a unique place to work? 

Well, to start, hospitality in general is far from your standard desk job. More and more people are choosing to work in bars, restaurants and hotels because of their unique, energetic environments. If you’ve never been the nine-to-five office type and are looking for a hands-on, truly exciting job, hospitality could be the perfect industry for you. It’s particularly great for those who thrive in sociable environments, are driven by teamwork and have a business mind.

And PizzaExpress is an example of a restaurant that is truly focused on creating an amazing career for those who want to make hospitality a real part of their life.

Far from a corporate environment, PizzaExpress is the place to be yourself and bring all your individuality along with you. No matter who you are, there’s a place for you on the team, and you’ll be supported in whatever route you wish to take.

We chatted to Beki Galvin, Restaurant Manager at PizzaExpress in Telford who’s highly passionate about her hospitality career. Starting off in pubs after finishing uni, Beki made the transition to restaurants as an Assistant Manager before working her way up to Restaurant Manager.

For her, hospitality started as a job she just needed, but has grown to be a career she truly loves. Over to you, Beki!

Becki Galvin, Restaurant Manager at PizzaExpress in Telford

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Why did you start off in hospitality and what made you stay?

I had just got out of uni, and found jobs relating to my degree limited at the time. As I really needed a job, I joined a team at a local pub as a waitress. 

The managers really liked the way I engaged with customers and how I worked with other team members so encouraged me to progress into a supervisory position. I then progressed further and became an Assistant Manager.

Although my journey began due to needing a job, I chose to stay in hospitality because every day is different. There’s always a new challenge meaning you have to adapt to new situations on a daily basis, so you’re constantly learning and developing.

I don’t think I could ever do a standard nine-to-five office job because I’m the type of person who thrives on new challenges.

What was your first job at PizzaExpress?

I joined PizzaExpress as an Assistant Manager in June 2016, and went into my first holding in December 2016. No looking back after that, I completed 3 holdings back-to-back before taking over the restaurant I’m in now.

What is a holding and what does it involve?

Going into a restaurant and filling in as a restaurant manager whilst they are away. I did this for maternity cover, and whilst restaurants were waiting for new managers to compete their training. It’s great experience for building confidence and developing your leadership style for when you have your own restaurant.

What qualifications have you taken and how have they helped you?

Hospitality Manager – Food & Beverage Manager Level 4 . This was a 2 year course, which included theory and work based learning.  I completed a theory led project on the subject of recruitment, which although was challenging, really expanded my knowledge.  I’ve also taken theories I’ve learnt and readapted them to help develop myself, my team and the restaurant.

How does PizzaExpress link with these qualifications?

PizzaExpress gives you the ability to undertake these qualifications. If you’re a Team Member and interested, you’d inform your manager and they will start the process. There are also leaflets and posters everywhere so Team Members can read about the courses available to them. The courses are separate to PizzaExpress, so you will be classed as an apprentice whilst undertaking them. 

But the great thing about completing an apprenticeship/qualification is that you will earn the same as a full time member but you’re studying alongside. It’s a great way to progress your career in hospitality.

How do you keep a team motivated?

We need motivation to achieve a goal.

In hospitality to reach any goal it has to be a team effort, which is made possible through mutual respect and positivity vibes.

When managers respect their team members, team members show respect to their jobs and enjoy doing it. Being positive creates positive energy, which flows through a team and to the customers. So if a manager is passionate about a goal to achieve and give their team the means to achieve it, they will do it.

I love bigging up my team. At the moment we have an internal challenge in PizzaExpress for selling the most Romana pizzas, and the winning team will win a team night out. My team are so excited to win, we’ve already planned the night out! But even if we don’t win, we’ve had fun.

What kind of person thrives in a hospitality environment?

Someone who wants a challenge, shows enthusiasm, and is a problem-solver. There’s always something to do, so it’s great for people who can’t sit still and enjoy taking on new challenges. 

Why should our readers consider hospitality and PizzaExpress? 

If you want a job that gives you a new challenge everyday in a customer focused sector, then hospitality is for you. And if you want to feel welcomed, and supported with those daily challenges in a company that promotes inclusivity and progression then Pizza Express is also for you.  

Feeling the PizzaExpress vibes yet?

With all this in mind, why not test your knowledge on what it’s like to work at the nation’s most loved pizzeria by taking this quiz on Placed App? You might learn a thing two… 🍕

To keep up-to-date with PizzaExpress and their latest jobs in you area, be sure to check our their brand page on the Placed App, and give it a follow. There are so many exciting roles to apply from on our platform right now!