Meet the Industry: Gemma Faint

We caught up with Gemma Faint (right) recently for a chat about her career and what she sees for the future of the industry. Previously one of our amazing trainers, she has taken on the role of Restaurant Manager at Lions @ Springwood!

Catching up with Gemma

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I quite simply live a happy life. I have a beautiful husband and a job I love. I am one of those people that change their hobbies all the time. At present, we have a group of friends that try a different restaurant every week. We call it Eat Club. There are so many great places to eat in Brisbane whether they be well known or a small hole in the wall no one ever talks about.

You were instrumental in the coordination of the GO PINK fundraiser recently, why is GO PINK such an important initiative for you?

Almost 20,000 women in Australia are diagnosed every year and 1 in 7 women will have experienced the scariness of this disease. What is more important is to raise money for research to currently help, prevent or even create a cure. Our Go Pink Luncheon was an amazing event with months of preparation. It was amazing to see so many local and non-local businesses all coming together to do there bit to help whether it be donating prizes or donating money. We have raised well over our fundraising goal this year and are very happy with the results. We believe next year is going to be bigger and better so keep an eye out for the date.

How did you find yourself in the hospitality industry, what’s your hospitality origin story?

I started in hospitality very young, with school not really being my thing, I entered into a chef apprenticeship to get out of class 3 times a week. From there I excelled and was qualified just before my 18th birthday. Since then I have worked in many different kitchens, become kitchen management level, spent time training future young chefs and moved my way to FOH work.

What is it that you absolutely love about the hospitality industry?

The thing I love most about hospitality is that we get to be a part of a moment for someone. Whether it be a celebration, or a celebration of someone’s life, we get to make an impact with customer service, atmosphere, and food.

What is your hospitality “superpower”?

I believe my super power is listening. Listening is a great skill to use throughout my entire day. Whether it be to help a staff member or solving customer complaints it is vital in my line of work….. also customer service to me, makes or breaks a restaurant and it is a essential point in my restaurant team.

You are now the Restaurant Manager at the Lions Springwood after such a wonderful career to date. Can you tell us more about how your journey came about, the changes in your career path and how they led you to where you are today?

I did my apprenticeship with HTA, moved around venues as you do as an apprentice, settled down at East Leagues Club. I was there for 8 years leaving as there Sous Chef, then became Chef trainer at CTA Training Specialists. I moved to Mackay as did my husband for work (he’s also a Chef!) and started to learn more about front of house (FOH) and became Food and Beverage manager at Ibis Hotel. That leaves me with today, being the Restaurant Manager at Lions at Springwood.

I believe we are constantly learning every day and this is something I apply to my career. There is always something else to learn especially with new trends and better ways to do things. I miss the kitchen but plan to remain FOH in the near future. I still do the odd Chef shift here and there. With my back of house experience and now my FOH experience this has helped me shape the restaurant manager I am today.

Finally, can you tell us your thoughts on the future of the hospitality Industry in Australia?

The impacts that Covid 19 has had on our industry has been astronomical, but I do believe this drives us to focus on rebuilding and re-imaging the hospitality industry. We have already grown from the pandemic in different and creative avenues on how to make money and keep businesses running.