Signe began her career in the food industry at 16 working at a small cafe located within her dance school located in her hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark. She enjoyed her job at the cafe so much that she decided to join a big Danish company called Meyers, founded by Noma’s cofounder Claus Meyer. This is where her passion for the industry sparked. By the age of 21, she found herself at Claus Meyer’s new project in Grand Central Terminal but after 3 months of being in the Big Apple she found her way back to Copenhagen. She began to work on different projects that began with a Danish bakery chain followed by being part of the opening team at a 3 Michelin starred restaurant. After 2 years, she decided to move her career to New York City for MeyersUSA and within two months she was promoted as the Assistant General Manager of the Great Northern Food Hall. Due to Covid-19, the Great Northern Food Hall was permanently closed and due to visa complications she moved back home to Copenhagen. As of October 2020, she is the General Manager for a Cafe and Cocktail Bar in Copenhagen.
If you could go back in time what advice would you give your younger self when starting in the industry? Don’t miss out on your childhood – you won’t get that back. It is okay to say no, it is okay to say stop.
When you were building your career how limited were your resources? I did not have any education related to the specific job I was doing. Business school didn’t teach me about customer service, or how to pour a glass of wine. But it gave me an insight in marketing, culture, economy etc. In Meyers Denmark I found my mentors, who constantly pushed me in the right direction and taught me a lot about the industry. Meyers also provided me with a Management Course sponsored by the company that taught me a lot of the qualifications I have gained today.
Where do you focus your attention day-to-day regarding your business? -Opening and closing procedures - Preparation of food and beverages - Answering e-mails - Planning schedules - Ordering procedures - Cash management - Approving employee hours (time stamps) - Analyzing KPI’s - Preparing end of day report
What are key characteristics you look for in applicants when hiring? Personality I believe you can teach people almost everything. But you cannot create personality. With personality comes charm and humor. Besides that, I look for charisma. I look for someone who sees opportunities and wants to grow and reach success. Someone who want to gain results just as bad as I want.
What change do you want to see in (for) our industry? Work hours. I cannot wait for the day where hospitality/restaurant workers get the opportunity to live a life with freedom, opportunities and ability to have a life besides work. Better salary, equality and respect are among other changes that I hope to see in the near future.
Connect with Signe on LinkedIn