Friday July 12 2019

Women in the Food Industry Interview with Katie Chesney Head of Marketing EMEA of The One Group

What is the future for steakhouses as the industry is increasing seeing the population move to a more plant based diet? Katie Chesney who markets the STK Steakhouse group of restaurants shares her thoughts

Women in the Food Industry Interview with Katie Chesney Head of Marketing EMEA of The One Group

With the move towards plant-based food is there a future for steakhouses? Women in the Food Industry co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, spoke to Katie Chesney, Head of Marketing EMEA of The One Group, who moved from restaurant management to marketing the STK Steakhouse group of restaurants in EMEA. Katie shared how she first got into the hospitality world, STK's relationship with farmers and her views on some of the issues facing women in the food industry.

Women in the Food Industry were keen to hear how Katie got into the hospitality industry.  She said "I was interested in going to hotel school as I’ve always been passionate about people and creating unique experiences that people won’t forget. To work out whether this was truly something for me I went for work experience in the In Room Dining department at Claridge’s where I served some very prestigious guests including European royalty and A list celebrities and musicians. It was then that I decided that this path was for me! I went on to study at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, based in Marbella.

As part of the diploma we did a series of 3 internships which took place at Ritz Carlton Barcelona, Twin Palms - a Small Luxuries of The World boutique property in Phuket, Thailand and finally at Shangri-La's Villingini Resort and Spa,  Maldives. During these internships I covered Front of House, Service, Kitchen and Housekeeping. I then went on to spend 4 years in Hong Kong and Shanghai as a restaurant manager for Shangri-La".

Katie says STK use local suppliers for ttheir steak in the USA. In Europe they use Creekside Farm in Kansas, which enables them to import into Europe. She continued "We have a fantastic long distance relationship with them given that they are in America! We take great pride in our meat and order extensively to keep up with the demand that there is for STK globally. Aside from meat suppliers our Executive Chef, Vincent Menager, meets with the suppliers and distributors regularly to honour the relationships. He is very much in the loop with new products on the market and seasonal items, therefore knowing what is most worth featuring on our menu."

When asked about the advantages of being a woman in the hospitality industry Katie replied:

"This is a great question! Honestly, I think hospitality is in women’s DNA. We are caring by nature and provide that sense of warmth that is essential in hospitality and can be quickly forgotten unless it is cultivated. It’s essential to be humble in the service industry and to create a memorable experience in a creative caring way – I think most women should have this down to a tee.

Personally as a woman in the industry I am keen for people to know that as well as marketing I have a keen understanding of Food & Beverage having worked in operations myself for several years. I think men have great respect for women in the industry as it is a tough one with long hours and you really do have to throw your heart and soul into it. We want people to know that can be done by women as well as men.

When asked what advice she would you give to someone who is just starting out Katie said "Always have a go at whatever you think you might like. A little advice that I was given growing up: “Throw your heart over the bar and jump after it!”

It’s always important to challenge yourself and work hard for what you believe in. Make sure you stand up for yourself and always try to find a mentor to give you constructive guidance. Also, take care of your health no matter what".

Visit Women in The Food Industry's website to read the full interview with Katie Chesney of The One Group



"It is always important to challenge yourself and work hard for what you believe in. Make sure you stand up for yourself and always try to find a mentor to give you constructive guidance"
Katie Chesney

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