Having never visited Salford Quays prior to moving to Manchester, my interview for Hospitality Assistant was the first time I’d been to The Lowry. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the building as I headed down the escalator, amazed by the floor-to-ceiling windows… (I didn’t get out much, as you can probably tell) Someone told me they’d been there ten years and they still couldn’t find their way round, and I even got someone to draw me a map of the building on my first day!
I’ve worked in catering since the age of thirteen, so I was eager to get stuck in once again when I moved to Manchester for university. I couldn’t bear the thought of being cooped up in my shoebox of a uni room, so the job search began and it wasn’t long before I was kitted out ready for my first busy War Horse interval on Tower Coffee Shop. And two and a half years later, me and my trolley can easily get anywhere in the building, no trouble!
As well as working on the Tower Coffee Shop, I gradually made my way up to work in the canteen aka The Village serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with the occasional shift on the bars pulling pints. Two shifts at The Lowry are never the same, and that’s what makes working there so enjoyable. One day you can be rushed off your feet serving hundreds of people in a tight 45-minute slot, then the next you can be serving Janine from Eastenders a jacket potato in The Village!
I’ve always said right from the start that it’s the atmosphere that makes working at The Lowry so special. To think that you could be serving food to a visiting company’s hungry cast before they hit the Lyric stage for a sold-out performance, or soaking up the excitable audience’s vibes down in the foyer, well, I guess it makes you excited for them! Seeing the impact that the arts has on people makes sore feet and smelling of coffee beans 24/7 definitely worth it.
I’d like to think my main aim as Hospitality Assistant at The Lowry over the years has been to provide the highest standard of customer service possible. Sometimes it can be easy to bring your bad mood into work with you, which subsequently will bring your team down too – but it’s vital to remember that this is someone’s day out or lunch break, or even their anniversary trip or birthday present to the theatre. A smile or a chat with a customer can go a long way, and it’s fantastic to think you could be a positive part of someone’s day.
Written by Georgia Litherland, Hospitality Assistant at The Lowry.