Firsts & Lasts with… Becky Wilkes, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager of the North for D&D London

Firsts & Lasts 

It is said that the two most important moments in a restaurant are the moment you walk in the door – the hello – and the moment you leave, the last bite you take, the last person you speak to – the end/goodbye. But so much of our life is shaped by first and lasts, so here we profile amazing women of the industry, talking about some of their first and last moments...

Bolton-born Becky Wilkes started her career at Ridgmont House, before moving to The Great John Street Hotel in Manchester city centre. Following this she was headhunted to help open Manchester House (now Restaurant MCR), where she spent three years working as a PA to Aiden Byrne before being promoted to Business Development Manager. Frequently recognised for her business prowess and contribution to the Northern hospitality scene, Becky has been nominated for numerous awards over the years including ‘Best Newcomer’, ‘Best Personality’ and ‘Female Networker of the Year’. After being headhunted by D&D London and playing an instrumental role in opening 20 Stories, Becky now oversees five restaurants as Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for the North. On top of her commitment to D&D London, Becky is on the board of Manchester Hospitality Network, a support group to bring together hospitality professionals.

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First kiss: A boy called Chris in the playground at school. I kissed him then ran away because I was embarrassed. 

First cocktail ordered on a night out: I am sure it was something like a Woo Woo on a night out in Wigan.

First food poisoning: *Touch wood* I have never had it!

First job in hospitality: I worked in a Chinese restaurant at the age of 13 and got paid £15 a week. 

First thing you do to unwind after work: I kick off my heels, take off my makeup, tie my hair up and get in my comfies.

First thing you do in the middle of a hellish service/day at work to stay level headed: Tidy the office. I am known in the office to be a tidy-freak but it helps me think and I can’t concentrate if anything around me is messy.

First thing you do when you wake up: Put the kettle on.

First thing you do when you plan a holiday: Look at the local restaurants and see what food I can eat when I am there.

Last thing you bought at an off license: An ice lolly to keep cool during the one day of summer that Manchester had.

Last three favourite places you ate in:

1. Issho, Leeds

2. Six By Nico, Manchester

3. El Gato Negro, Manchester

Last song you listened to: London Grammar, Strong.

Last podcast you listened to and what did you take away from it: I am afraid to say I don’t listen to them, I love music too much so that is always my go-to.

Last glass of wine you really enjoyed & where: It was a sparkling red at Canto, Manchester - Quinta do Poço Lobo Bruto.   

Last time you had a proper day off and what did you do with it: Glastonbury – no phone signal means no emails or messages! I had the best time ever living in a field for 6 days!

Last time you exercised (body or mind): Does running for a train every day count? Managing my time between two cities causes me to run around my restaurants each day! If not, I try my best to go swimming every Sunday.

Last review you read and agreed with: It isn’t really a review, but Sacha Lord, who is Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor, published some blueprints this week on what he is putting in place to create better wellbeing for those who work in hospitality. It mentioned plans for looking after staff who work late, and addressed things operating better transport systems to the mental health implications of working anti-social hours. It is great to have someone back hospitality and put new procedures into place. 

Natalia Ribbe