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Dylan's story

Smiling Dylan's employee standing in the restaurant

Dylan’s opened its Menai Bridge restaurant in 2012, offering diners locally sourced produce including seafood fished from the Menai Strait.

Members of staff at the restaurant explain how they have been able to grow both professionally and personally during their time working there.

Manon Stonehewer, Floor manager

Manon started working at Dylan’s part-time as a waitress when she was 17, returning to the restaurant every summer during university before taking up a management role after graduating with a degree in History. She is now about to go travelling and use her experience to work abroad.

“If you can work successfully in a fast-paced restaurant, and if you want to travel or work anywhere else, those are skills that you will take with you and it will be attractive to employers.

“Since the age of 14, all the jobs I’ve had have been in hospitality and tourism. Without those opportunities I don’t know where I’d be.

“I’m now planning to travel the world and use my hospitality experience to get jobs as I make my way through places like Portugal and Spain.

“I think you’ve got nothing to lose by getting a job like mine, and it’s something you can dip in and out of as well.

“I started here at 17 , went off to university, came back during the holidays and did that for three years. At the end of my degree I had a chance to progress through management and really enjoyed it.”

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Jason Axford, Group head chef

Jason joined the restaurant in Menai Bridge when it opened nine years ago, before working his way up through the kitchen ranks to become head chef of Dylan’s three North Wales sites.

“I love and enjoy expressing a great plate of food and making sure people sitting in the restaurant enjoy it. That’s my passion for the job and what I enjoy the most.

“Not a lot of people know how interesting a plate of food can be and putting something together is rather special. Working with local produce is fantastic, also.

One of the benefits of working in this industry is being able to have fun with people while working. I feel like with a lot of job roles you don’t get that aspect, especially in an office or something.

“Here, you’re having fun and having a laugh too. It’s not all serious.”

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Kyle Neil, Bartender

Kyle joined Dylan’s in March 2020, just before businesses across the country were forced to close due to the first coronavirus lockdown, but was retained as a member of staff and says he has thrived in his role since restrictions were eased and the restaurant was allowed to reopen.

“Before I joined I was a bit down and felt a bit low, but the minute I walked into this job they saw a lot of potential in me. Every day, every month, I see myself developing more as a person and developing more and more of my skills.

“Who knows where I could end up – I could move higher up here, I could move somewhere else. Whatever happens, I’ll always thank this place.

“I used to be a very anxious person and nervous, I lacked confidence – but because of this industry I’ve got more confident and have blossomed.

This industry has made me grow and will help other people grow into better versions of themselves for years to come.”

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Paige Mabbs, HR Manager

Paige started off as a waitress at Dylan’s before becoming one of its managers, and now works in a senior office-based role. She puts her career trajectory down to the many opportunities within hospitality businesses to develop and progress.

“I love helping to create jobs, making sure that people progress quickly, and that they get the right training that they need in order to be successful.

“There’s so much room to progress, and you don’t just have to become a restaurant manager – you can be more versatile. There’s the kitchen, there’s the administration roles, the retail side.

“It’s all about what you want and what sort of future you see yourself in.

Even if you’re a bit stuck for direction, the industry is definitely the perfect place to start off because there’s so much room to expand your knowledge and so much to learn.”

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