Behind every great pub is a reliable Pub Manager at the helm, keeping their team motivated, making sure the service is impeccible and most importantly, making sure customers enjoy their experience.
At The Castle Inn, we have a leading lady wearing the crown, and one who is a familar face to many Red Mist customers.
Kaitlyn started with Red Mist Leisure in 2016, when she moved over to the UK from Canada. Originally starting her career as a waitress, she quickly showed her incredible hospitality skills and picked up the British pub etiquette (and humour) which resulted in promotions, eventually leading her to be given the Pub Manager role at our sister pub, The Royal Exchange in Lindford.
Now that she’s stepping into her new role at the youngest of our Red Mist pubs, we thought you might like to find out more about the reigning Queen, here at The Castle Inn.
What was your dream job when you were growing up?
When I was young, my typical response was probably always a teacher or vet. I guess in a way I get the best of both worlds working in a pub. We have tons of four-legged loyal customers which I love and equally, I have a young, bright team working with me that I enjoy showing and teaching what I’ve learned being in this industry for over 12 years and passing down that knowledge.
Where did you grow up and why did you choose the pub industry to work in?
I grew up in an area just outside of Toronto, Canada. It all just kind of happened and something about this industry constantly pulled me back in.
I’ve been blessed to always be surrounded by amazing people and that has probably kept me here. I started working at an event venue called ‘The Manor’, not far from my parents’ house when I was 16. Throughout the years I always maintained a job in food and drink, whether I was part-time behind a bar whilst in school or full-time.
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
I would have to say moving to the UK. I’ve always wanted to move around and experience different cultures and places. I think most people around me at the time thought I’d never go through with it, but I firmly believe the world is too big to live in one place all your life. What better way is there to experience British culture than to manage a pub?!
What’s your favourite thing about British Pubs?
Hands down, the social side. Pubs are something that Canadians don’t fully embrace. There is nothing better than on a busy Friday night to look at a heaving pub full of family and friends catching up after a long week. It just has a certain buzz about it that I love to see.
What is your favourite classic pub dish and why is it your favourite?
I would probably have to say a well-cooked fish and chips. It’s simple ingredients, but if it’s done right with fresh fish and crispy batter, it’s so delicious.
What is the weirdest saying that you’ve picked up since you moved to the UK?
Oh, there are soo many! When I visit Canada now, all my family and friends cannot resist poking fun at the fact that I ‘sound so English’ to them. Yet most people here in UK would look at me strangely for my Canadian accent.
Things even as simple as the word ‘fancy’. In Canada that would only be used to describe something ornate or special. Where here it is used to describe a preference. ‘What tonic do you fancy with your gin?’. It’s hard to pin-point one phrase, in a way it’s just a vocabulary change that I’ve picked up.
Is there a Canadian snack/meal that you wish we had here in the UK?
Fuzzy peaches! They are like a Haribo sugared sweets but just peach flavoured made by Maynard. There are probably some replicas here in the UK but you can’t beat the real ones!
What are you most looking forward to about managing The Castle Inn?
I’m looking forward to creating the perfect hub to socialise with family, friends and colleagues in Farnham. The location is amazing, we are right in the middle of it all in the heart of town, the space we have is so versatile. There are so many different types of uses this pub has and I’m excited to create that atmosphere and environment for that to flourish.
If you could invite anyone to come and dine at The Castle Inn, who would you invite?
I’m not a star struck type of person (and I doubt he frequently visits Farnham!) but I would love Will Smith to visit us. I feel like he would be full of conversation and have some fantastic stories to share over a pint.
What’s your signature drink that your nearest and dearest know to order for you?
It depends on my mood, but you can never go wrong with a nice refreshing pint of lager.
What is your favourite movie of all time?
I enjoy many different genres but I just have to go with the original ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ by Dr. Seuss. It’s a childhood classic with a great story!
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of work?
I really enjoy cooking. I mean realistically, if this whole Pub Manager role falls through, I guess I could convert to the kitchen! Joking aside, cooking, spending time with friends, on a cosy sofa watching a film or reading a book and traveling when time permits.
Tell us a random fact about yourself that not many people know…
When I was in my early 20’s I use to practice and train for competitions as a flair bartender (you know that film Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise!). It’s been years since I’ve practiced, so if you ask me to throw around some bottles behind the bar now, it would end in disaster! But maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again.
If you haven’t already met Kaitlyn, do come in and say hello. She looks forward to welcoming many of you soon!