Working at ASK Italian | Glassdoor.co.uk

ASK Italian Overview

London, England
1001 to 5000 employees
1991
Company - Private
Casual Restaurant
£500 million to £1 billion (GBP) per year

Company Updates

  • As part of the 2019’s Brand Momentum report, Stone & River caught up with Azzurri Group boss Steve Holmes to discuss the success of ASK Italian and Zizzi during turbulent times for the industry - http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vM5c5

    Stone & River Interview with Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group - CGA

    As part of the 2019's Brand Momentum report , Stone & River caught up with Azzurri Group boss Steve Holmes to discuss the success of ASK and Zizzi during turbulent times for the industry. Here's what he shared: What have been the main focus areas in the past 12 months?

  • We are delighted to announce the promotion of Chris Webb to Finance Director and also a warm welcome to Karen Sweetman who has joined our sister company Zizzi as Finance Director. Steve Holmes, Azzurri’s CEO told Propel - “Chris has worked for Azzurri Group for seven years and his appointment as Finance Director is a reflection of ASK Italian's leading position in the Italian casual dining sector and its ability to develop talent through to senior positions within the business. Karen’s appointment reflects the brand’s ongoing success in the UK as well as its continued expansion into Ireland and, most recently, China”

    Well done Chris and a very warm welcome to Karen!

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ASK Italian – Why Work For Us?


At ASK Italian we want people to do more than eat Italian food, we want them to eat like an Italian - to enjoy the entire experience and escape from the day to day

The key to all of our success is the ASK Factor meaning we are confident, engaging, ambitious, genuine and we love to be a bit cheeky. Sound familiar?

So, if you are interested in creating great Italian food from the freshest ingredients and serving it in dishes that demand attention this could be the start of something special... 

 

Our people are the most important part of our business so join our family and you'll be supported in your career journey, whatever route you take and however far you'd like to go.

With 70% internal development we are proud to support you thorugh our award-winning career development programme called the ASK Italian Journey and we will give you an amazing Italian Education too!


Adam joined ASK Italian back in 2009 and has been promoted into a number of positions including General Manager, BOH Training Manager, Operations Manager, New Openings Operations Manager and more recently to Senior Operations Manager.

Why did you choose a career in Hospitality?

Like most people, you kind of fall into it.. I started working in the kitchen of my local restaurant at Mill House Inns at 14 and quickly got hooked on preparing and cooking food. I enjoyed the energy in the kitchen and discovered a passion for food and thrived on working in a team. I progressed to be Head Chef leading a team of 12 at the age of 17 then went on to become Assistant Manager then Deputy Manager!

What were you doing before ASK Italian?

I was at Caffé Nero for 3 years as a General Manager in Hull and also supported in opening up new stores in the business. I was tasked in setting up high performing teams and Hull was recognised as a site with exceptional standards and training. After Nero I then went to Barracuda Bars as a Relief Manager taking on difficult situations in restaurants and bars which needed stewardship within short time periods. Overseeing 16 restaurants and bars at Barracuda it gave me experience that I use to this day. I then returned to Mill House Inns as a GM for a flagship restaurant and now with ASK Italian!

What do you do in your day to day role?

I lead all new opening restaurants at ASK Italian from acquiring a site, supporting the recruitment of great talent, building great teams and working with Head Office teams to put together a robust new openings plan. I also support in the transformations of existing sites to ensure a smooth process that allows our great teams to develop and build after a refurbishment.

What excites you about ASK Italian at the moment?

Same thing as the reason I joined ASK Italian 7 years ago – the amazing food that I’m proud to serve every day! The food stops conversation and the focus on the development of our people is the heart and soul of our business - working with good people is easy!

What advice would you give someone who wants a career in Hospitality?

Remember that through a positive outlook and a focus on the customer you can deliver an exceptional customer experience – and most importantly you can enjoy something that you care passionately about. For anyone looking to progress it’s good to have a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to self-improve every day.


The Ask Italian Apprenticeship programme is a year long development plan that is open to Team Members who are looking to become future leaders in our business.

 

We will help you to develop your knowledge, skills & behaviours to grow your career and graduate as either a 2nd Chef or Assistant Manager and ensure you have all the skills you need to grdauate in to your management role.

 

You will have our full support as you commit to a bespoke learning plan that will include workshops, interactive workbooks and modules

 

On graduating the programme, you will receive a Nationally Recognised Level 3 Apprenticeship certificate in either the Hospitality Supervisor or Senior Production Chef .

Some Basic Criteria:

  • You NEED be over 18 years old (to be able to work in our kitchens) .
  • You MUST have lived in the EEA for over 3 years (there are some exceptions to this, contact our Apprenticeship Manager for more details) & currently be working in England
  • You MUST have at least Level 2 (GSCE grade A*-C or equivelent) in both Maths & English
  • You MUST be committed to complete the full programme

 

Interested?

Like many things in life, good things start with a great conversation so if this is something that excites you, submit your application, along with a 30 second video telling us why you want to apply for the programme to: apprenticeships@azzurrigroup.co.uk

At ASK Italian we strive to give every customer a Great Hello, the same welcome, care and attention that we give our friends or family. And we want to show you as a new starter the same consideration. It’s a warm embrace, a sense of belonging, and an important step towards the beginning of a great career with us!

Our values and beliefs are packed full of Italian attitude and underpin everything that we do. This passion we share with our customers and (just as importantly) our teams.


Day One in the ASK Italian Journey brings this to life. Your THIS IS ASK ITALIAN session is our first opportunity to show you all about us...

ASK Italian Reviews

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ASK Italian Managing Director Harry Heeley
Harry Heeley
27 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    "Amazing company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - General Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ASK Italian full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Incredible progression and support system in place to develop not only yourself within the company but also as a professional within this industry.
    There is full disclosure between those at the top right down to restaurant level, meaning everyone feels involved in decisions and in the direction the company is going in.
    We really are one big family. They care and they show it.
    We are all striving to continuously improve and stay ahead of the market, together as a business.
    Really fun place to work with incredible benefits and bonuses.

    Cons

    Some, and I stress this is only a small number of people, from Head Office could benefit from spending a week in a restaurant to understand some of the processes and challenges we face, enabling them to become more effective at their job and be of more assistance to those at restaurant level.

    Advice to Management

    In this challenging and uncertain market we are facing, we are aware that it is more important than ever to retain staff and make sure this is a great place for people to want to work. A dedicated person or team behind this bringing together people from other sites to recognise achievements or hard work I think would make us stand out and some people who could be overlooked feel more included. For example team of the week or employee of the month. But of course to be combined with prizes and acknowledgement.
    Increase whole restaurant events or consider to close all sites on the current event day we have to really show appreciation and show the public how much we value spending time with our teams.
    Other than that keep up the excellent work, and keep Ask Italian as a place where I am proud to work.

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ASK Italian Photos

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ASK Italian photo of: General Manager & Head Chef Roadshow
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ASK Italian Interviews

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  1. Featured Interview

     

    Server/Waiter Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Leeds, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at ASK Italian (Leeds, England) in August 2018.

    Interview

    Attended a group interview where they conducted a presentation about the company. We were asked to bring an object that represents us and we had to talk about it in front of everyone. We were all asked a selection of questions such as if you could have dinner with a celebrity who would it be and why? What's your favourite food and why? The classic tell us something about yourself.
    We then had to participate in a group game.
    We were then individually interviewed by members of the recruitment team and asked things like how would your friends describe you etc.
    They were looking for personality.

    Interview Questions

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