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Charlie Carroll has moved to a role she really loves in pub management, which also gives her a much better work-life balance…

It was actually a regional LinkedIn ad that led me to Simon. This was back in November 2018, when I was feeling fairly dissatisfied in a company that managed restaurants in Essex and East Anglia.

The commute was punishing; I was in the car for four or five hours every day, so wanted something closer to home. Additionally, I was constrained because we didn’t lease and tenant the sites themselves, meaning I had no say in what products we acquired or how we marketed each business.

Trends within the industry have always fascinated me too. Casual dining, for example, is declining right now. Pubs are resurging, but only if their managers and owners can think like a customer (not too hard a task for me, as you’re likely to find me at the bar even when I’m not working!). But my passion for hospitality kept coming up against limitations. Ideally, I wanted a role that didn’t sap hours of my life with travel, as well as one largely free of HR and admin so that I could put my imaginative skills to use.

Simon took my call and listened to my story. I told him about my work with Café Rouge straight out of university, before I set up my own pub years later, where turnover climbed from £3,000 to £20,000 per week in a matter of months. So I had the experience for a new position. I was ready. He really understood that.

Part of Simon’s charm is his willingness to fight your corner. As we spoke about hiring opportunities, and (of course) the distance I’d have to drive, the subject of a salary came up. He wasn’t prepared to back down until I had a good offer; it wasn’t a case of sending 20 CVs out and seeing which stuck. He genuinely believed in me.

Needless to say, I achieved the position of Regional Manager for Ei Group, becoming responsible for over 50 pub sites in North London. I bring my experience with staff, sales, profits, KPIs and operational design into play, guiding landlords to make the most of their business whilst enforcing terms of contract. It’s a rewarding role that puts me at the heart of every critical decision.

The commute, too, is utterly different. I only have to travel 40 minutes to the farthest site in our network, whereas the nearest is just six miles away! Before, I’d be lucky to reach more than two pubs a day because the journey was so arduous. That means two things: I’m much happier, and I can act extremely quickly if required, making as many stop-offs as I need to.

My thanks go to Simon and SPE Connect for paving the way to this position. He was patient, timely and a staunch defender of my expectations. Finally, my professional skills have found a home and I feel much more fulfilled.

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