10 Minutes With: ETHOS Founder, Jessica Kruger
Millennial restaurateur, Jessica Kruger, is the latest real-life role model to sit in our hotseat.
30 Second CV
Name: Jessica Kruger
Current Title/Company: Founder of ETHOS Restaurant
Educational Background: Bachelor of International Studies (Sydney, Australia), Master of Business Administration (Paris, France)
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
I’ve been working on building ETHOS for the past two years and, now that we’re open, I oversee the restaurant on a daily basis. I check the operations are running smoothly, I monitor the presentation of our dishes and taste test them on a daily basis, and have daily check-in meetings with my Manager and Chef. In between I am glued to my computer responding to emails, liaising with our press agency, submitting payroll, making payments. Bit of a Jack of all trades! I also try to make time for recipe research and to work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Perfectionist monitor, decision maker
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
I get up, do some sit ups, push ups and weights, and eat breakfast whilst looking at the news as well as the figures from the previous day of trade. Once I’m at work, I respond to emails ahead of our daily 10am team meeting. I’ll always check in with the front of house and kitchen teams too.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
I meet with my key staff at various times throughout the day, ensuring they are keeping on top of their priorities and the quarterly goals. Lots and lots of emails and meetings with suppliers. I’ll head home around 8pm and continue doing bits and bobs there, leaving easy tasks for the evening when I can relax.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Aside from opening ETHOS, it has to be the customers who email in to say how much they love the concept, or those who tweet and Instagram about how in love they are with our food. That makes my day.
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The good – Recipe research and taste testing with our chef. Getting the to-do list done!
The bad – Being pedantic about standards with staff.
The ugly – HR! I hate all things HR. Forms, documents, holidays. I am sure our payroll manager cringes every time she receives an email from me full of a litany of new questions.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mentor is always reminding me to work on the business, rather than in the business, so hearing that phrase for the first time was a revelation. As the leader it needs to be your team that is running the business day to day, whilst you define and direct the long term strategy. I also really love this quote, which keeps me going a lot these days: “It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up”.
Who are your role models?
I love reading about business women making it to the top. I have so much respect for them. I pour over their biographies online to learn more about them, where they came from, their career path, what motivates them, how they did it. They are my role models.
What’s the last book you read?
Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg. I wholeheartedly agree that we all need to be doing more to push women forward in their careers. I was at a business lunch put on for restaurant directors and owners. I was the only female founder amongst at least 30 men. It is intimidating, but at the same time exhilarating to know that you’re one of the leaders cutting a path to change. Being part of that movement towards change is a great feeling.
What’s your favourite way to treat yourself?
So many different ways! Going to bed early, cuddling up with a good book or watching a movie I’ve been dying to see, having a massage, and of course the odd few pieces of chocolate is always a nice way to treat myself.
Complete this statement: I feel most powerful when wearing… My pinstripe suit, heels and a great blow dry.
What social or political issues matter most to you?
Where our food comes from and what is done to it in the mean time! It’s scary and shocking what the food industry does to our food and the consumer just doesn’t know about it, as they are not obliged to write it on the label if it is classified as a “processing aid”. Above all, however, stopping factory farming of meat would be the one wish I have for the world.
ETHOS is a ‘deliciously different’ self-service restaurant specialising in meat-free cuisine that tastes as good as it is for you.