A Day in the Life of Gemma Kelly 1st Assistant Manager at Nando’s

What do you do, and how did you get here?

With my Patrao (GM) I run the business as a whole learning how to inspire and grow managers and identify ways to grow our business. I am responsible for the day to day operations of my restaurant. That involves giving good customer service, maintaining food standards, training new managers, recruiting new team members, Nandoca reviews, looking after equipment and forecasting and managing the financial aspects of the business. The part I most enjoy about my job is working with young people and helping them to grow and realise their full potential.

How did I get here? Well, I’ve worked in Nando’s for 3 years now, I started as a 2nd assistant manager and with the help of Nando’s I was able to attend courses which gave me confidence in my abilities and the opportunity to learn new skills. This has been vital to the role. My background before this was 5 years in retail and a marketing degree, which I am also able to use in my job as we have a certain amount of autonomy with our restaurant’s marketing.

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How do you spend your day?

My day starts with coffee! When you work for Nando’s you will learn to love coffee. I walk around the restaurant, making sure equipment is in good working order and that’s it at a good standard of cleanliness. Then I get the tills set up, see who my team for the day is and make a plan on what we need to focus on. I always make sure to greet all my Nandocas (staff) before they start their shift. Then after a little breakfast we do a team brief and the next 4 hours are all about the customer experience, engaging with the Nandocas and running a great shift. When the PM shift managers come in, I give a handover of the day and make sure they are set up for success before I leave. I also have additional responsibilities each week such as orders, Nandoca reviews, etc.

What’s the best part of your job?

There are so many! The team builds! We get spoiled with trips to different countries. Last year the assistants went to Lanzarote, Amsterdam and South Africa all expenses paid for by Nando’s. After 5 years in the company we are also given a sabbatical, 4 weeks off with pay. Every 5 years too. Free food is another perk of the job.
As well as that we receive excellent training, achievable bonuses and the support we are given to achieve our goals is unrivalled in my experience. And last but not least, the people you get to meet!

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What’s the hardest part of your job?

The best part is also the hardest part. You will be faced by many different situations in this role and you need to have good people skills to be able to handle them. From Nandocas to contractors to customer feedback.

What traits are ‘must haves’ to do your job well?

Good people skills as in caring for your team, being a good listener and making the right decisions rather than the easy ones. Attention to detail, the drive and determination to be the best version of yourself.  Computer skills come in handy!

Any advice for people applying for a job like yours?

Be true to yourself, be open to feedback and I believe the rest will come naturally.

What’s your ultimate goal in your career?

My ultimate goal is to work in our HR team, as our region grows there will be more opportunities in our Central Support Departments such as HR, Finance and Marketing. I want to learn new skills and grow myself, maybe even become a regional MD!

How do you unwind after work?

I hit the gym, practice yoga, visit family and friends or go for a drink with some of the team. We are very social In Nando’s!

Tell us one quirky thing nobody would know about you?

I make Kombucha, a friend introduced me to it years ago. Its a fermented pro-biotic drink which the Chinese knick named the ‘immortal health elixir’. I take a shot of it every morning 🙂

Want to join the Nando’s team? Apply today.


Author Aoife Geary

Aoife Geary is the Content Editor at Jobbio specialising in the areas of Workplace Culture, Diversity, Startups and Digital Trends. She's partial to a burrito, a bad pun and living way beyond her means.

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