Q&A with ETM & Maven Leisure's People Director

Written by
HJUK Marketing 2022
ETM Group

01 Dec 2022

01 Dec 2022 • by HJUK Marketing 2022

Rachel Masing, People Director at ETM and Maven Leisure, shares advice for any professionals looking to pursue a career in Hospitality. Rachel delves into a great spectrum of venues available to best suit any candidates applying.

Tell us about your first job in hospitality?

I was a waitress in a busy bar and brunch spot in Auckland harbour. We made amazing brunch, fantastic coffee and we had brilliant regulars. I still remember so much about the atmosphere and my wonderful colleagues there.

Has there been anyone who’s stood out as being a major influence in your career?

I feel like I’ve had to carve my own way since moving away from operations and into support functions, as 4 of my last 5 role changes have been into roles that didn’t exist previously in the businesses that I was in, so I’ve had to create my own path of what I wanted success to look like.

What skills do you think you need to be successful in hospitality?

I think you need to be a do-er because the industry is extremely fast-paced; you need to be someone who loves to make connections; and you need to really love the product (drinks, food and good times!) or you’ll never have the passion to push you through the huge hurdles we face!

What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in people’s expectations of working within hospitality?

2 parts: for the seasoned hospitality people, they now want to succeed in their hospitality careers without feeling that they need to sacrifice their life to do so; and for those just joining, there seems to be quite a few that don’t realise that while hospitality is a really fun and rewarding environment to work in, that is not in opposition to standards of discipline and commitment that need to exist in a professional workplace.

Why should someone choose your business to work for?

We have such a spectrum of venues within our company that there is absolutely a place and a team to suit any candidate. As a business we also have a love for career development and fun and I’m confident that the superstars in my People Team can support all of our employees’ needs during their time with us, in a way that is supportive and nurturing.

What advice would you offer to someone coming to interview for a job in your business?

Be ready to talk through what skills or personality traits could make you a good fit for the job you’re interviewing for, even if you don’t have experience in the role yet. It could even be the simple fact that you’re an older sibling and that has made you a responsible and organised person – that in itself could put you in great stead to be part of a successful team. Experience is amazing but being a nice person who is happy to play their part in the bigger picture is even more important.

What are you most excited about for the year ahead?

Just the thought of a fresh year, full of promise and activity and objectives for my team makes me so excited! We are finalising our calendar and our plans for 2023 now and some of the highlights are: our EPIC Awards Dinner; our summer EPICnic social; a new cohort of Leadership programmes; Chef competitions and Wine Masterclasses

What’s your worst vs best experience working in hospitality?

The worst thing is surely the constant hurdles that keep getting put in front of us, the most recent being the train strikes planned for what should be our busiest week of the year! It’s hard not to be disheartened when all we want is the opportunity to trade without limitations and this is the 3rd Christmas in a row that we’ve hoped for an uninterrupted trading period and we are getting thwarted again.

The best part of working in hospitality is the industry’s passion to innovate and create amazing experiences. Hospitality businesses are a fundamental part of society and life wouldn’t be as joyful without the moments and memories we share in a fantastic bar, restaurant, or pub.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone working in hospitality who wants to be successful?

I’ve seen plenty of roles created within the businesses that I’ve been part of that have been designed specifically around the talent that’s within. So don’t assume that the only roles in our industry are ones that exist already. If you love the day-to-day of this business, stick with it, work hard and show your strength. A smart company will see your individual talent and may very well create a role especially to take advantage of what you can offer, and you could very well end up working in your dream role in a vibrant and exciting industry that you love.

ETM Group has loads of exciting opportunities currently available. Browse and apply now.

ETM Group