The Management at Phoenix Restaurant, NUI Maynooth
Linda Brophy is the General Manager at the Phoenix Restaurant, NUI Maynooth. Linda started her career in the catering industry as a Chef, attending DIT, Cathal Brugha Street to study Professional Cookery for 3 years.
After qualifying she worked in various restaurants around the country which involved “long hours, split shifts and no life” before settling into industrial catering. Linda started working for Compass Catering in 1999 as a Chef and soon fell into a Supervisor’s role. It was from here that she became interested in Management and slowly moved up the ladder to her current position as General Manager.
Linda has now been working with Compass Group Ireland for 13 years; 12 years in the corporate giant, Microsoft and the past year here at NUI Maynooth. She has thoroughly enjoyed the working experience on-campus and the following statement sums it up in her own words:
“Life in Maynooth has been great, very different to the corporate world that I have been involved with for so long, but so much fun. The students are young, energetic and full of life. We are adapting everyday here to make sure we can give them the best food and service at competitive prices. Our first year on campus has gone well, but we still have lots to give. Watch out for next year’s new additions to the Phoenix. It will only get better!”
Anna Szyszkowska is Linda’s “right hand woman” at Phoenix in the role of Assistant Manager. Anna moved from Poland to Ireland in September 2004 at the age of 18 and “from day one” she was working in the catering industry. As she recalls, she tried “every angle” in the business including cheffing, waitressing and bar work. In January 2006 she started working with Compass Group as a Supervisor, also at their Microsoft operation in Sandyford and subsequently got promoted to Assistant Manager under Linda who was the General Manager there at the time.
In 2005, Anna enrolled at DIT, Cathal Brugha Street street on a 3 year part-time BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She graduated in 2008 with a distinction and a student excellence award.
Anna left Compass Group just after graduating college and worked as an Assistant Manager in Tenors Grill Room in Donnybrook (now closed). She remained there until January 2011 but then decided to go back to industrial catering because (in her own words) “the long hours and weekends in the restaurant were starting to bother” [her].
She returned to Compass as a supervisor of a small cafe situated at the Four Courts in Central Dublin, the Friary Cafe. In September 2011, she found an internal vacancy advertisement for a position at the Phoenix and decided to go for it because it was an opportunity to work with Linda again.
Anna is “very happy with the job” because she is “learning an awful lot”. She thinks that “every client base is different, the courts were very interesting” [but] “the college is completely different again so it keeps my job entertaining”.
Aside from Linda and Anna there are no other management staff on-site at Phoenix.
The other staff include:
- Head Chef – Andrew Fitzgerald.
- Second Chef – Alan Kelleher.
- Other Chefs – Anton, Ryan & Denise (and they also serve the food at lunch time).
In Linda’s words “These guys prepare all the food and treats on offer from the Phoenix”.
At Phoenix we can also find on duty:
- Jana – the beautiful Coffee Barrista in the Costa Cafe.
- Anne Marie and Catherine – the till operators who greet customers every day.
- Joan, Adelaide & Donal – the servers who, according to Linda, “might give you an extra scoop of chips if you are nice to them”.
- Daire & John – who keep the kitchen clean and the plates stocked up. They are not seen but are “crucial to the operation”.
In summary there is a total of 13 staff employed at Phoenix, expertly managed by Linda and Anna, providing an excellent array of services to the restaurant’s patrons.