So Tara, you have been with us for 2 years now and have had quite the career!
You started as a waitress at STHLM TAPAS Sjöstaden, turned restaurant manager (really quickly) and then went on to becoming manager of STHLM TAPAS Vasastan. That being said, we would say that you are taking on much more responsibility than that.
In the group we refer to you as "mama hen" half jokingly. Where does that motivation come from? The motivation to take on so much responsibility and not to treat it as a J.O.B.?
I think the motivation comes from my training at University, I majored in Business with focus on entrepreneurship and communications. There I was taught many technical skills which assist with my day-to-day routines such as budgeting, forecasting and order management. But more over, I was taught strong leadership skills, team building and management.
I am able to apply these practices to my career now, it's sort of an all encompassing position I have landed, where the sky is the limit as to what projects I can take on! Also, having only moved here two years ago from Canada, the working and personal relationships I have developed with my team, both at the restaurant and in our head office are extremely important to me. I cherish every day with this group of amazing individuals, and therefore want to constantly improve and better our business practices!
We are doing this in English and the reason being that you're from Canada. How is it being so far from home, what do you miss about Canada and what's somethings that have taken the longest time to get used to in Sweden, if anything?
What a thoughtful question! An ongoing joke we have here at the restaurant is how often I am asked each night "so... where are you from anyways?!" this usually leads to us comparing cold climates, and then asking me how much I enjoy hockey.
What do I miss the most.. hmm my friends and family of course. Also, coming from Vancouver we are surrounded by beaches, you can usually tan from May - September. So I suppose that as well, being tanned almost the whole year!
Vancouver has beautiful large forests, with three local mountains for skiing (almost all year round). Whistler is also only an hour away, which is an amazing place to visit in the winter.
The hardest thing to get used to, well the language! I have now completed up to a very high level in Swedish lessons, but since everyone's English here is so good it's hard to practice.
I actually feel my Swedish getting worse and worse everyday I am not actively using it, which is hard to believe being that I live here!
What's best about being a part of the STHLM TAPAS team?
Our team. Work often doesn't feel like "work" when you are surrounded with such kind, thoughtful and motivated individuals. From the two owners (Peter and Patrick) trickling down to our servers and kitchen staff, all the Sthlm Tapas team members embody our corporate values and principals.
We are spending more and more time talking about our core values and how we can become better at living them. We have so many stories about you ranging from when you lent your pants to a guest after you spilled wine on her, to when you ran to the office and printed theater tickets to guests who forgot to print them themselves. Which on of our core values do you think is the most fun to live and breath at the restaurant? And why?
Hmm that's a tricky one, hard to pick just one - perhaps that's cause I had a hand in developing them!
I think "creating raving fans" sticks out to me as one of the most valuable. Stockholm is a metropolis for fine foods and wine, so it's difficult to stand out and create value no one else can.
When Sthlm Tapas first opened, tapas wasn't that big in Stockholm. Now with that trend quickly catching up to us, it's time to put our concentration in a different direction with focus on cavas. We now have a large assortment from all over Spain.
That being said, creating a raving fans isn't all about the product. We try to train our staff to give our guests a memorable experience every time they come in for a visit. Whether it's something as simple as letting them dine at their favorite table, or making a birthday or bachelorette party feel extra special. We focus all of our staff to really understand and meet the needs of our large array of valued guests.
Which is your favorite tapa at STHLM TAPAS?
My favorite tapas isn't currently on the menu, but will be making a comeback this fall!
In a few weeks we will be launching our fall 2016 menu, where you can spot my favorite and largely recommended tapa. LAMB-RACKS!
And your favorite wine?
For me, I think it depends on the season. This summer I have really been enjoying our Pino Noir from New Zealand, but as the days get colder I tend to gravitate towards our medium-bodied wines such as our Montecillo and Ripasso.
Tara, we are so happy that you put up with us and that we get to have you in our team. Thank you for taking the time to answering our questions, we know you are busy.
Last question, what's your plans for the fall?
This fall I intend to focus a lot of energy towards marketing and events. I would love to see some fun and seasonal actives in all of our Sthlm Tapas and Selected locations.
As for personal goals; work on min svenska and purchase my first apartment!
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