Operations Director  -  Busaba Eathai
Starting as a chef in hotels/bars from leaving school at 16. Joining Café Rouge in 1998 as a head chef and opening a new site in Hertford working in many other Café Rouge kitchens. The Whitbread sale gave me the opportunity to move FOH and build my management career to GM in 2 years.
In 2003 I joined TRG and opened the Stevenage branch of Frankie & Benny’s. Successfully opening my unit, and heavy involvement in other openings led me to promotion as Area Manager. After 8 years, I left TRG to join GBK shortly after Yellowwoods (Nando’s owners) purchased the business. Looking after several areas and promoted to Senior Area Manager over a 4-year period. Leaving GBK I joined Levi’s and ran all operations and basic functions to conceive and open the new Caribbean restaurant. After 3 years, I have joined Busaba as Operations Director.
Starting from scratch vs the turnaround
1) Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse. I will discuss the differences of working for a brand and starting one with an entrepreneurial owner, the process of conception through to opening and beyond. 2) Busaba – I will discuss a much loved, Alan Yau conceived business that had tried to expand outside London and has been forced to retreat and regroup, the full management change and the re-direction in tough times.