Hospitality Business Management Graduate to Utter Waffles CEO
Hospitality Business Management Graduate, Julia, tells us about her journey to CEO of Utter Waffle.
The year I left Leeds Beckett University I started work at The Ivy as Head Hostess and stayed there for two years. Each summer, for the last eight years, I have taken time away from my jobs and worked at Wimbledon. I have now completed four consecutive years as the manageress of the Competitor’s Restaurant at Wimbledon and absolutely love it as a seasonal post!
In recent months I have given up working for others and have launched my own company, a dream of mine for a long time. With my best friend we have launched Utter Waffle, London’s newest street food concept. We serve fresh, light and crispy savoury waffles. However, these are no ordinary waffles…we stuff the batter during cooking, which results in pockets of molten, hot deliciousness, covered with fresh toppings.
We bought a vintage 1975 Ford Transit and converted it into Reggie the waffle wagon. After 8 weeks of van renovation work and months of food tasting sessions, we had a big launch event on January 31st where we invited key industry professionals, event organisers, food bloggers and lots of friends and family. We now work all around London, catering for weddings and offering our delicious waffles at festivals across the summer.
Looking back, although it was hard at the time, the business and finance modules I studied have been hugely helpful now that cash flow spreadsheets, breakeven charts and profit and loss accounts are a necessity for my business. I learnt that all experience, in whatever role in hospitality you do in your time, will always be beneficial down the line.
Absolutely without a doubt I would recommend students go on placement. I spent six months in Sydney and six months in Miami and would recommend it to anyone. You gain such valuable experience when working in different cultures and learn skills you wouldn’t have necessarily learnt at home. I have done a huge variety of jobs in my time from a manageress, receptionist work, bar work, waitressing, and now a proud CEO! All of which I am so grateful to have achieved.