Veronica At Work
You’re often seen front of house, welcoming and looking after guests. How do you foster a sense of community with your guests to encourage them to come back again?
The team and I love to make guests feel at home every time they come in. I guess we foster a sense of community with them by being friendly in an upbeat environment, while respecting boundaries. The first lesson I learnt when I started in hospitality was to read my guests: as soon as you understand what the guest needs (someone to chat to, to enjoy time alone, to have personal time with their date, to drink the best cocktail, to just chill looking at the beautiful view), you have a real opportunity to make that person feel really special.
Fostering a sense of community in Lyaness takes much more than understanding what you like and what you don’t like and, I must say, I’ve got the best team to do all of that with. They are generous, funny, friendly and extremely professional (and they love to chat!).
Plus we love to see guests coming back again! It is the best compliment.
You guys seem to hire the smartest and friendliest people from the bar world. How would you describe the Lyaness team culture?
That’s a great compliment! I am so lucky to work with such amazing people. We always hire great personalities. I think it’s more important to have a team made of different people with different backgrounds and (very important!) different interests. But they all must be kind and friendly, and definitely caring.
I’d describe our team culture as Inclusive, it’s a family!
Do you have any tips for small businesses on how to create and maintain a healthy and strong team culture?
My advice would be to hire people that really care about the company ethos and share the same passion, while being graceful. It isn’t always easy, nor impossible!
As a woman working in the traditionally male dominated bar world, what’s your advice to other businesses in the industry on promoting women, and values such as equality, diversity and inclusion?
I know how hot this topic is at this moment in time. Being a woman in any male dominated industry isn’t easy. Women have fought so much to get us where we are now.
I’ve always been very lucky to be recognised for my job as a professional and I’m grateful for every opportunity that was given to me after working hard to get there.
My advice to businesses is, as obvious as it sounds, to finally start promoting real meritocracy.
I am a firm believer that there is no difference in what a woman and a man can do in a bar, so this shouldn’t stop businesses supporting equality and shouldn’t stop women from going and getting what they deserve and worked hard for!
Who would you say is the Lyaness target customer? Can you describe them? And how do you make sure you continue to appeal to them?
Lyaness wants to be a place where everyone feels at home. We don’t have a target customer and that’s why we try to create an atmosphere and environment that can be enjoyed by all of our guests, from hotel guests that may be travelling solo to large groups in for a special occasion, to a couple having afternoon tea.
In the bar we also put as much focus on non-alcoholic drinks so that non drinkers can come in and feel as included.
Veronica After Hours
Can you talk to us about any rituals you’ve developed over the years that help you stay on top of your game?
During the past 5 years I have discovered my love for yoga. I was looking for a way to really relax but also work on my balance and muscles, and I decided to give it a try. I’ve never looked back! I wish I’d started much earlier in life.
Another thing that I would definitely consider a ritual is taking myself for either a short trip or at least a date in the city. Incredible!
What does your morning routine look like? And how has Covid-19 changed it?
While working I usually wake up around 10, as I like to have time for myself before getting to Lyaness. I always start the day with a massive cup of coffee and I put on my morning playlist. I have a light breakfast, read a bit or try to catch up with family and friends and head to the yoga studio. It gets me ready for the long nights at work!
Covid-19 has slightly changed this morning routine: I now wake up much earlier, as I spent this quarantine with my boyfriend (and he naturally wakes up at 8am), and instead of heading to the studio, I do my vinyasa at home. Thankfully I didn’t have to change much.
What’s your cocktail of choice? Can you share a “make it at home” recipe with us?
Here’s a secret: I always go for the same 3 cocktails when I’m out! I love to experiment, especially during cocktail creation (Lyaness is a crazy laboratory in that sense!), but when it comes to what to drink I am the most boring person. I am super happy with a glass of champagne, or a French 75. It’s a super easy gin based drink, topped up with champagne, delicious!
You can easily make it at home, this is my “lightest” recipe (I like it with less gin):
- 30 ml Gin
- 15 ml of fresh lemon juice
- 15 ml of sugar syrup
- Top up with champagne
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is definitely: no one cares, and the world doesn’t revolve around you.
Sometimes we spend so much time worrying about other people’s thoughts and opinions.
99% of the time it isn’t about us! People go through a lot in life and not every day is perfect. And remember, no one cares!
Don’t be afraid to be judged.
What music are you listening to right now?
As I do miss my kids (the team) and the bar vibe so much, I am actually listening to Lyaness’ playlist on Spotify right now! It’s also raining outside, this music definitely makes me feel more energetic!