If you’ve visited English’s you’ve no doubt encountered our dashing and friendly restaurant manager, Fabio Lombardi. We recently sat down with Fabio and asked him a few questions about his background and his time at English’s so our customers can get to know the person behind the Italian charm!
Q. Tell us a bit about your background, Fabio, and how you got into hospitality.
A. After college, I teamed up with my older brother in the visual merchandising world. A few years later, I felt the itch to leave home, shoulder some responsibilities, and pick up a new language. So, I packed my bags and headed to London, dreaming of becoming a chef, even though I had zero culinary experience and hardly knew English! I moved to London in 2013, I was 22.
To start my journey, I applied for a kitchen porter gig, but surprisingly, I didn’t get the job. Frustrated but not defeated, I switched gears and went for a front of house position. The very next day, I was hired as a food runner. From that point on, I worked my way through different front of house roles, building my experience and skills, until I reached where I am today…
Q. Tell us about your time and roles at English’s so far…
A. I started as a waiter at English’s nearly five years ago. I was on the
verge of closing my own coffee shop for a brief period. A few months in, Nick, the previous General Manager, moved on, and Andre took over. I saw a chance and applied for the assistant restaurant manager position. The next year, I got promoted to Restaurant Manager.
Q. What do you love about your job? What’s been your English’s highlight so far?
A. I love interacting with people and making their experience unforgettable every day. Trying out new dishes, wines, and cocktails is the cherry on top! But the best part has been the amazing relationships I’ve built with our regulars. I just love connecting with them!
Q. We understand you’re a Napoli fan and another manager, Antonio, is an Inter Milan fan – is there any friendly rivalry? Yuri the head chef is also Italian – it’s like a mini little Italy at English’s!! Tell us more…
A. I’m crazy about Napoli! My friends and I just started “Club Napoli
Brighton” a Napoli fan club for people leaving in Brighton and Hove (stay tuned for our Facebook page soon).
Antonio, or Tonino, loves Inter Milan but is a Brighton football fan too. The real rivalry is with Manu, who’s all about Juventus (hahaha).
Yuri isn’t really into football, but he’s still part of the little Italy family here at English’s. But, hey, we’ve all got different passions, and we respect each other!
Q. What are your hopes for the future?
A. Well, I wish the team and I can keep waving high the English’s flag!