Helen Hutton at Tropical Sushi

Helen Hutton

Current position: co-owner, Tropical Sushi

Please can you share a whistle-stop tour of your career?

Circus tricks, creating a performer’s agency, studying event management, then a chance encounter with some rather talented chefs – Tropical Sushi was created.

How and when did you train in hospitality, was there a particular reason for this career path?

Looking back, I have always loved working with people in the service and hospitality industry, from performing in some pretty cool live shows, through to the everyday of welcoming guests to the restaurant.

Your job in three words:

Teamwork Engaging Fast-paced

Favourite aspect of the job? 

The team I work with every day – as important as my family – we support and care for each other through the restaurant. And, of course, the many loyal customers that have supported us from the start!

What excites you most about your role?

The unpredictable nature of the restaurant means we never know who is coming in to dine with us – and we have had some pretty amazing visitors over the years!

The toughest aspect of your job?

The catering industry runs at a relentless pace, and you gotta keep up!

Is there a moment in your career that stands out above the rest?

I think when the restaurant received its first award, after facing such competition, it was a real moment. Previous to that, setting up an agency at such a young age, and working with some global brands was really cool.

What are you most proud of? 

That we are a relatively small site serving sushi, and yet we have managed to maintain a buzzy busy restaurant despite the masses of alternatives that pop up in the Brighton area.

Would you agree that hospitality is a male dominated industry? 

Possibly. There are more men working in the industry, but I think women’s voices are heard equally.

Can you summarise what it is like working in a male dominated industry? 

I work with guys every day and honestly, there is no gender issue at Tropical Sushi, we just get on with doing what we are doing.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Opening the restaurant and encouraging people to try our Latin fusion menu.

Have there been any obstacles in the way of your professional development?

I have been really lucky so far and I approach every obstacle with a sense of inquisitive positivity.

Do you have children?

A gorgeous girl, yes.

Has raising a family affected your career development?

I am super at juggling and the team are very supportive if I need to take time out.

Who have been your mentors?

  
I find inspiration from all sorts of people – no one really stand out.

What has been your philosophy that has seen the successful development of your career?

A positive outlook and the appreciation that most things are pretty achievable with some thought.

What advice would you offer for women looking to embark on a similar career? 

Go for it!

Words of encouragement for women who aspire to reach a senior position in hospitality? 

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Just believe in yourself and don’t let any gender issues swerve your ambition!

Do you have a go to or failsafe plate of comfort food?

Sushi!

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