International Women's Day: The Coach Makers Arms

Q&A with Nicola Mew, General Manager of The Coach Makers Arms.

Tell us about your role and business… 

I am the General Manager of The Coach Makers Arms in Marylebone. We belong to Cubitt House, who operate a small group of pubs in central London. My role involves a variety of responsibilities and daily tasks, from overseeing menu changes, to training, hiring & of course ensuring the building is still standing! 

How did you get to your current position?  

I began working in hospitality when I was a student and continued to do so into my 20s, both in the UK and overseas. During this time I developed my skills and knowledge of the industry, completing wine courses etc where the opportunity arose! I gradually worked my way up and have been a General Manager for about six years now. I have been with Cubitt House for three years, initially working at The Alfred Tennyson In Belgravia before taking on The Coach Makers towards the end of 2019.

What motivates you?  

I really enjoy developing great relationships with incredible suppliers. This might involve a visit to a British winery, oyster farm, brewery or, if Im lucky, the odd trip to Champagne! This enables our venue to offer new and exciting products, as well as locally & sustainably sourced produce.

What challenges have you faced?  

Working in hospitality you have to be incredibly adaptable, 2020 was a big year for that within our industry! At The Coach Makers Arms we changed the way we operated several times across the year, sometimes with only a day or two to organise logistics. Ensuring the safety of both the team and the public was our priority, while taking advantage of any opportunity to keep trading. Luckily we have some very loyal guests who came by come rain or shine!

How do you stay positive?  

Meeting so many lovely new people! I have the opportunity to do this almost daily and I always keep in mind how much each small interaction can positively impact someones day. 

What are your top three tips for women entering your profession?  

  1. Never stop learning! Say yes to every training day, course, seminar – whatever opportunity comes your way!  
  2. Be yourself – It may sound obvious but I think many women believe they need to alter their persona when taking on roles in leadership – becoming more stoic, or essentially more masculine in order to be taken more seriously.  
  3. Put people first! Whether its your team or the guests, focus on what people actually need from you and how you can keep a smile on their faces! 

Who or what women inspire you?  

My colleagues! At Cubitt House we have so many incredible women running the show! From head chefs, to marketing, to bar managers, we have such a strong female workforce. I have been lucky enough to work with many fantastic female leaders over the years and without their support and guidance I would not be where I am today. 

What does International Women's Day mean to you? 

It is a chance to celebrate the women in our lives for everything they are and everything they have achieved or overcome, as well as a chance to appreciate how lucky we are to have had so many strong women before us who have paved the way. Many women and girls around the world are still fighting for these opportunities, which is something I think it is important to keep in mind.


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