Frank Sinatra and Mixed Martial Arts – Rob Gregory’s roller-coaster journey to Yurt manager

Having been open for a few months now, our Yurt team has been busy getting to know our customers and showcasing our wonderful food and drink, and as a team have been thinking of how we can connect with you on a more personal level. Due to this we are very excited to launch our new Meet the Team campaign. This campaign is for you to get to know us better, hopefully meaning we can tailor and improve your time in the Yurt even more.

Recently we have launched our new Staff Bio Page which gives you an insight into our more professional experience and looks at the paths we have led to reach the Yurt. Following on from this we are starting our Question and Answer series with our staff to dive even deeper into who we are and allow you to know a little more about us.

Kicking off this series is our Front of House Manager Rob Gregory. I sat down with him to have a bit of a chat and see what we could get out of him.

So Rob, as this is part of our business blog and you are quite a serious guy at work, lets start off with some serious(ish) questions… Can you name some of your previous job roles and how this has led you to the Yurt?

Thanks Chris, I’m not sure how I feel about being labelled the ‘serious guy’ but here goes…

I used to run an events based catering company, and then a Gastropub and I’ve always had a strange love for camping; I believe a combination of these three things has led me to the Yurt.

Have you got any particular highlights in your career so far that really stand out?

One or two Chris; The first ever event I ran was an Alice in Wonderland Themed party for a theatre group – it was an incredible day! (Thank goodness as it took months of preparation!). I was very pleased and proud to work with such flamboyant and appreciative people and I’ve never seen so many top hats or rabbits in my life…

Last year, after a huge amount of hard work I received 2 Rosettes from the AA along with a 4-Star Hotel rating, a Michelin Gourmand, and a 5-Star Hygiene rating for a restaurant/hotel that I was putting all of my energy into. This was a huge improvement and so far from where it had started.

And then there’s the Yurt. Watching it grow and develop over such a short time brings a proud smile to my face. This charming and well-hidden tent never fails to enchant me and it is a privilege to be part of the growing Nicholson’s team.

What would you say if your favourite part of working at the Yurt?

Seeing the look of amazement and bemusement on people’s faces when they walk in for the first time. I will never tire of seeing people ‘light up’ when they enter this Tardis-like circus tent restaurant.

So moving on most of us know that you have a pretty unsuspecting cool hobby, one of which was actually your job for a while, so what is this hobby?

I was a long-distance forklift driver.

No, I’m only joking with you. I used to run a Mixed Martial Arts academy that developed into a fitness and development program for schools.

Just out of curiosity how many injuries have you had from fighting – we want full details?

I’m no real fighter Chris, I love the training and the adrenaline rush but I like my face too much for the heavy stuff.

That said, I’ve had a few breaks and strains in my time – and the odd dislocation here and there…

So music is quite a big thing for us here in the Yurt but what song would we most likely find you grooving out to on the drive home/to work?

Chris, I’m a huge Frank Sinatra fan. Anything of his that was recorded live is my cup of tea.

If you are not at work, or training for a big fight, what are we most likely to find you doing?

I’m a big lover of reading and herbal tea. I also spend an inordinate amount of time researching other restaurants and pilfering new ideas.

Oh, and occasionally I adorn my cape and mask and use my superhuman powers to rescue cities from caped super-villains. Wait… I don’t think I’m supposed to tell people about that…

So this is the last question I have for you, If you weren’t managing the Yurt/in Hospitality where would you see yourself?

That’s an interesting question Chris, I am completely devoted to a career in hospitality, although if I had to change, I’d love to try my hand at writing. The life of an author has always appealed to me although I can’t profess to be any good!

Thanks Rob.

The next in our series of Q&A we will be sitting down with manager of Rosara, Jessica Latham-Warde. You can read her Q & A here…

Jess Q & A