Name: Natalie Heard
Position: General Manager at Derby
Joined Company: 2005
I joined the original bistrot in Nottingham over ten years ago and it’s been great to grow with the company. I had previously worked in hotels and chain restaurants which were quite impersonal; but here you feel like part of the family and there is a good support network from other managers and the senior management team. In fact, even though we now have 12 other bistros that family feeling is still there and I often get feedback from our customers saying that they didn’t realise we have other restaurants as their experience feels very personal.
I don’t think I had a specific career plan when I started. It’s been a more natural progression with lots of support from the company and also from being part of the management development programme. From Nottingham I went to work as an Assistant Manager in Leamington Spa for 12 months before returning again to Nottingham for a while, and finally being offered the General Manager job here in Derby.
I started the Tricolore Programme when I was an Assistant Manager and even though it is specifically designed for Le Bistrot Pierre, it is stuff that you could take with you and use in the future. It’s certainly made me a better manager; I attended each part of the course with the same people, we learnt a lot from each other and were able to share ideas. At the end of the course we were asked to complete a business project with the aim of introducing new ideas to the company. It is really good to see that some of the ideas put forward have now been implemented; such as the recycling programme.
Our Derby bistrot is consistently busy and we have to be at the top of our game to please our customers. We have a great team here and I believe it’s a great place to work!
Bistrot Pierre in Royal William Yard, Plymouth. One of our favourite places to eat. Always good, never disappointing.Roger Western via Facebook