CODE's Employee of the Month for October is Pauline Bearune, Head Waitress at Nutshell
When did you realize you wanted to work in hospitality?
Coming from an office-based background, I didn’t know what was it. My friend who used to work in a restaurant, invited me in. The first day I joined him, he was doing paperwork on his laptop without saying a word, while I was watching all the FOH and BOH having fun whilst they worked.
He went on to introduce me to the General Operations, the Executive-Chef, the Human Resources etc. but still I was more interested with people on the floor and how they interacted with guests. I introduced myself to all the team and I really got the vibe with all the FOH. They taught me everything, but at the same time cracked some jokes and were having fun. They were also so loyal to each other, whether it be FOH and BOH.
Every day is not the same, you learn from each others mistakes and constantly improve. I feel very safe in this environment. You know that feeling? Family. I’m grateful to my friend for introducing me to this big family wherever you are.
Why did you want to work at Nutshell?
In my first interview I met Mohammed and he introduced me to his wife Marwa. You know I always say, the first impression really counts. I felt in that moment they were both really interesting human beings and genuine (I still do today).
I understood the difficulties in introducing a different concept, but decided to rise to the challenge and use it to my advantage as well. Nutshell is new and together as a member of this family we are still learning, improving, innovating and being challenged. Sometimes it’s difficult but hey! in difficult situation there’s always a solution. You really need to sit down, focus and think what’s best for the well being of each member of staff, but for the business as well.
I love Nutshell for the vibe that I feel with my colleagues. Don’t be mistaken, there some bad days as well, but at the end of the day, we always find a way to still enjoy each other, have some good laughs, because we know that tomorrow is another day and it will be a beautiful day and most importantly we support each other.
Who inspires you?
People, every one and each member from the FOH and BOH - they teach me, show me and inspire me everyday to become the person who I am today. Not only in hospitality, but everywhere I go I meet some wonderful human beings. I’ve learnt and I’m still learning every day to become wiser in my choices and my view towards my surroundings. It’s simple as that: I am not a person who gives up easily. I’m going to do everything to reach my goal, it doesn’t matter when people try to convince you otherwise. I always trust my instincts, as they have never failed me.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I am a foodie so I love cooking. Where I’m from (New-Caledonia — French Island in South Pacific) we have a lot of influence from Asian cuisine; specifically, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. So whenever I have friends coming over, I always make sure to cook extra so they can bring some back for their loved ones when they go back home.
What is your desert island dish?
Back then, in my childhood, my grandma always prepared homemade jams that we make together and puddings, when I came to visit. I still remember very well the taste of these homemade recipes. I was asking her what was really the secret of all her recipes? I only got this simple answer: Oh my dear! It’s what’s in your heart and the love you put in it, just go with the flow and everything you do will just fall in place. Sometimes in life or when you cook something, take your time and you’ll be surprised how things turns from bad to good. Till now, I carry with me everyday what she was trying to teach me. Those three main ingredients are: Watch, Learn and Listen (thank you Granny).
Where would you like to be in five years?
The hospitality industry is on the rise. So, certainly, I will be in this industry that I love so much; the connection between colleagues, business owners (my family, my people) and guests is very important. So for sure, I will stick with it and operate many different roles.
Where do you enjoy going out to eat and drink?
I love going in different places to eat in London. There’s this wonderful place called The Little Yellow Door, where everything is in one place. Good food and cocktails and you can party at the same time. I first went to celebrate my friend’s birthday and we all had an amazing time. The staff are amazing and really take care of you from the beginning till the end.
Then, there’s this hidden gem called Shrub and Shutter very interesting – great mixologists mean it’s a really innovative cocktail bar. It’s really friendly and the place has a capacity for live music. Pretty cool no?
If you have a colleague going above and beyond their call of duty, send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.