Friday fun

Need to recruit well-trained food service workers?

Take a tip from Sahar Hashemi, who co-founded coffee shop chain Coffee Republic a decade ago with her brother Bobby. The pair headhunted their first coffee shop employees from grab-and-go food chain Pret a Manger, Hashemi revealed at a London event for recruiters on Thursday night. “We nicked employees from Pret a Manger because we knew they were well trained,” Hashemi said. “We handed them little pieces of paper that said we’ll up your pay by 50p if you come and work for us.”


Hashemi urged fledgling entrepreneurs to recognise “the importance of being clueless” when creating businesses of their own, in order to be able to fully understand their customers’ needs. Sahar Hashemi said the advantage of starting a business without preconceived ideas or “baggage”, allowed new entrepreneurs to “feel the customer. You are the customer”.


The former solicitor-turned-coffee shop magnate, who sold her shares in Coffee Republic in 2001, went on to advise potential entrepreneurs to ignore their doubts if they felt the urge to follow their heart to a project they could love. “Leap, and the net will appear,” she said. “Whenever you want to do something new, and you hear that little voice of fear, press ‘delete’ on that voice.” 


Hashemi was speaking at the Recruit Rank awards event hosted by job board Jobsite.

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