Operations director, Adam Handling Restaurant Group
Nominator Adam Handling
Nicola Gartenberg joined the Adam Handling Restaurant Group as a group co-ordinator. She had no previous hospitality experience, but with a background in growth strategy and building financial models, she quickly earned significant promotions and is now operations director.
She has overseen the development of an ever-growing team – the group's head count has grown from 30 staff to 180 over three years. She has also built and controlled financial forecasts, liaised with shareholders and assisted with marketing creations.
Gartenberg is responsible for the company's outreach programme, which has included working with StreetSmart in conjunction with the Felix Project and Open Kitchen, to prepare 1,000 meals a week to help feed NHS staff and other key workers in London during lockdown.
In view of the recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?
The people, as we are one big family. Luckily, we were able to work with charity Open Kitchens, so we were busy providing food for vulnerable people. We also successfully launched our own home delivery service, Hame.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
100%. I believe this personally, and we are huge promoters of sustainability in the company. Teaching sustainability would prove beneficial for most organisations, not just hospitality.
Who is your hospitality hero?
Having not grown up in the industry, I would have to say that my all-time hospitality favourite is chef Keith Floyd for his cracking charisma and his delicious and simple food.