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April Jackson

Restauranteur

Website: Three Little Birds

Total years spent working within the industry?
4.5 years

What do you most enjoy about this industry?
It has changed, in the beginning, I most enjoyed returning customers, and compliments received on the food, music, and how friendly the team are. Now I get the most enjoyment from not being there and knowing that people are still enjoying all of the things that I want people to enjoy. Running two restaurants, it is impossible to be at both at the same time, and I feel like I am going a step beyond the ‘Pattie’ shop mentally with my business.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Just before Covid-19, my main prep chef had left, and so I would do the prep during the day, catch up on administration, and then get ready for service. During the week, I am in the kitchen during service, but not on the weekends. The days are really long, during the week they can be 14-16 hours, and on weekends 18-hour days.

Tell us something we might not know about your field/sector?
My biggest shock was, I thought that once you treat people well, and with the respect that you build loyalty, but unfortunately, my experience suggests that London does not provide a landscape for loyalty. My dad runs his own business in Jamaica and still has people working for him, since before I was born. I do not believe that hospitality is viewed as a profession, here in the UK compared to somewhere like Paris, where you could be waited on by a 70-year-old man, who takes pride in his profession.

Three dinner guests, dead or alive?
Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou who is my favourite author, and Michelle Obama.

The last book you read or documentary watched?
I am currently reading ‘Silver Sparrow’ by Tayari Jones.

Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is……
Uncertain.