My Working Day – Michael West – Operations Director at JIJI
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? We spoke to Michael West, Operations Director at JIJI, about his working day.
What time do you wake up?
Most days I will wake up at 8 am.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
To be honest, I am not really a breakfast person which means I usually grab a coffee and will occasionally treat myself to a bacon sandwich.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
If it’s a workday then I will take the tube to work, except on a Sunday when I choose to drive in. Once I arrive at JIJI, I check our bookings for the day and communicate with the chef on what’s taking place that day. I always ensure the restaurant is properly set and clean, whilst making sure our team is present.
Once I know everything is good to go on the floor, I check and answer my emails, whilst reading our logbook from the previous day. At the moment I’m also busy scheduling site visits for our upcoming expansion and will attend viewings with our agents day-to-day.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
I always start my day with a cup of coffee and then take a look at the daily reservations to see who is coming in. I always keep an eye out for our regulars, neighbours, journalists, influencers, celebrities, and shareholders.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
I prioritise my day by business and staffing levels, I will work the floor every day to ensure guest satisfaction and I believe it is important to greet our regulars.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I plan meetings for sure. To me, meetings are very important. My meetings usually take place with my managers, staff, head office teams and shareholders. In my opinion, there is nothing better than good communication.
Do you have a working lunch, or do you take a break?
If business levels allow, I try to take a one-hour break after lunch service, at around 3 pm. I have always felt that it’s important to get out of the building and get some fresh air. My team can always call me if something urgent crops up.
When does your working day finish?
I don’t have a finish time. I leave the restaurant when I feel comfortable that all our guests have had a good time. Work is never finished though as I am always looking at emails on my way home.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
How I prepare for the following day changes depending on what is going on. If I have site visits, then I plan by researching the property and surrounding areas. This is followed by putting a business plan together for the owners.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
I am not a tech person at all and truly believe systems were better before. However, if I had to choose something other than my car, it would have to be the SevenRooms reservation system.
How do you switch off?
I don’t tend to switch off as restaurants and the hospitality industry are my life and always have been. I do love football and boxing though.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best piece of advice given to me was by the legendary John Davey. He told me never to say “no” or “I don’t know”. He said you must always say “I will find out for you” or “I will be right back with the answer”.