For those of you who regularly visit us, our new Pub Manager may not come as a surprise to you. As a person who has been assisting with the running of the pub and who’s been our current manager’s right-hand (wo)man, and adored by many of our locals, it only seemed right that she would take over at the helm.
As our current Pub Manager, Alex, moves to his next step in his career at our new sister pub, The Wellington Arms opening in late November, we welcome the lovely Kaitlyn Jannetta who will be stepping up from Deputy Manager into the role of Pub Manager this month.
Kaitlyn started with Red Mist Leisure in 2016, when she moved over to the UK from Canada. Originally starting her career with us as a waitress, she quickly showed her incredible hospitality skills and picked up the British pub etiquette (and humour) which resulted in promotions, eventually leading her to Deputy.
Now that she’s stepping into her new role, we thought you might like to find out more about the lady behind your local pub.
What was your dream job when you were growing up?
When I was young, my typical response was probably always a teacher or vet. I guess in a way I get the best of both worlds working in a pub. We have tons of four-legged loyal customers which I love and equally, I have a young, bright team working with me that I enjoy showing and teaching what I’ve learned being in this industry for almost 12 years and passing down that knowledge.
Where did you grow up and why did you choose the pub industry to work in?
I grew up in an area just outside of Toronto, Canada. It all just kind of happened and something about this industry constantly pulled me back in.
I’ve been blessed to always be surrounded by amazing people and that has probably kept me here. I started working at an event venue called ‘The Manor’, not far from my parents’ house when I was 16. Throughout the years I always maintained a job in food and drink, whether I was part-time behind a bar whilst in school or full-time.
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
I would have to say moving to the UK. I’ve always wanted to move around and experience different cultures and places. I think most people around me at the time thought I’d never go through with it, but I firmly believe the world is too big to live in one place all your life. What better way to experience British culture than to manage a pub?!
What’s your favourite thing about British Pubs?
Hands down, the social side. Pubs are something that Canadians don’t fully embrace. There is nothing better than on a busy Friday night to look at a heaving pub full of family and friends catching up after a long week. It just has a certain buzz about it that I love to see.
What is your favourite classic pub dish and why is it your favourite?
Probably have to say a well-cooked fish and chips. It’s simple ingredients, but if it’s done right with fresh fish and crispy batter, it’s so delicious.
What is the weirdest saying that you’ve picked up since you moved to the UK?
Oh, there are soo many! When I visit Canada now, all my family and friends cannot resist poking fun at the fact that I ‘sound so English’ to them. Yet most people here in UK would look at me strangely for my Canadian accent.
Things even as simple as the word ‘fancy’. In Canada that would only be used to describe something ornate or special. Where here it is used to describe a preference. ‘What tonic do you fancy with your gin?’. It’s hard to pin-point one phrase, in a way it’s just a vocabulary change that I’ve picked up.
Is there a Canadian snack/meal that you wish we had here in the UK?
Fuzzy peaches! They are like a Haribo sugared sweets but just peach flavoured made by Maynard. There are probably some replicas here in the UK but you can’t beat the real ones!
What do you love most about The Royal Exchange?
The team and awesome customers. I think it’s important to be happy with your work and it’s the people I’m surrounded by that make me love my job.
If you could invite anyone to come and dine at The Royal Exchange, who would you invite?
My dad… I hope he reads this! I think The Royal Exchange would be a place he would frequent if he lived in the area. He hasn’t been over to visit yet, but I think this is even more reason to tackle that 8-hour plane journey.
What’s your signature drink that your nearest and dearest know to order for you?
It depends on my mood, but you can never go wrong with a nice refreshing pint of lager.
What is your favourite dish on The Royal Exchange Autumn Menu?
The Puy lentil pie. It’s just one of those warming dishes that has a great combination of flavours. I love that I work for a company that is willing to change with the times; this dish is a great vegan spin on a shepherd’s pie. Our Head Chef is fantastic at creating dishes that, regardless if you’re a meat-eater or not, it tastes so good.
What is your favourite movie of all time?
I enjoy many different genres but I just have to go with the original ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ by Dr. Seuss. It’s a classic with a great story!
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of work?
I really enjoy cooking. I mean realistically, if this whole Pub Manager role falls through, I guess I could convert to the kitchen! Joking aside, cooking, spending time with friends, on a cosy sofa watching a film or reading a book and traveling when time permits.
Tell us a random fact about yourself that not many people know…
When I was in my early 20’s I use to practice and train for competitions as a flair bartender (you know that film Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise!). I mean it’s been years since I’ve practiced, so if you ask me to throw around some bottles behind the bar now, it would end in disaster! But maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again.
Kaitlyn looks forward to seeing many of you soon, so do come in for a tipple or a tasty meal.