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Sonal Clare

General Manager

Employer: The Wilderness

Total years spent working within the industry?

14 years in hospitality

What was your most job recent (or current)?

I am currently General Manager and Sommelier of the Wilderness restaurant in Birmingham.

What do you most enjoy about this industry?

I enjoy how much every day is different and unique.  I love the relationships with the team, suppliers and the guests. The industry has so much diversity and so much to offer.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Greeting the team and handshakes to all staff, making myself a brew, checking emails and chatting with the team to discuss the day ahead, check if there are any special dietary requirements for the diners in the evening and ensuring the drinks are organised and prepared for the day.

During service, I look after the guests by explaining the menu and ensuring all requirements are met or exceeded. I also organise wine flights (wines to accompany each dish on our tasting menu).

Tell us something we might not know about your field/sector?

We have been recognised as a “go to” and “gets you by” industry.  If ever stuck for a job, you can always ‘work in a pub’! Hospitality has usually been associated for its lower skilled people, with poor pay, long and unsocial hours. However, it is one of the most exciting industries; challenging, fun and with lots of hard work and dedication can be highly rewarding, not just financially but also inspirationally!

Single most important piece of advice given to you?

Work hard, play harder!

Last book you read, or documentary watched?

I watch lots of Amazon prime and Netflix documentaries as I have much more spare time at the moment.  I also watch lots of TV series but the most recent has to be the Tiger King.

Three dinner guests - who would they be?

Gordon Ramsay (Legend)

Thierry Henry (Gooner)

Peter Griffin (from Family Guy)

Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is……..?

…very dynamic and exciting but with lots of uncertainty in the current climate. It is a very challenging time for us.