MEET LAUREN: BurgerFuel Hataitai Store Manager

Posted by BurgerFuel

Check out our latest BurgerFuel ad and you might think the featured talent must have been carefully selected from a casting agency. Well, they were carefully selected because of their awesomeness, for sure, but from within the BurgerFuel fam. The bunch of nonchalantly cool faces you'll be seeing on your screens are all store and head office staff members, as well as some very special Friends of the Fuel. But more on them later. 

One character in particular stands out, with her head-chef-meets-rock-band-front-woman vibes. Lauren, a hard-working store manager from the BurgerFuel Hataitai store, epitomises our peoples’ down to earth, yet rebel spirited nature. Lauren is, put simply... rad. Like so many of our staff that we come across, we dug her individuality and laid back, yet confident personality. We wanted to learn more...

Lauren was born in the UK in a small town called East Preston, on the south coast. She moved to Aotearoa as a 12-year old and lived in Lower Hutt, moving to Kapiti when she was in high school. Free spirited by nature, Lauren has been flatting since 18 and now lives with partner, Jackson, and cat, Chilli.

Lauren’s BurgerFuel journey started 4 years ago and she brought with her 6 years of valuable hospo experience, after having previously worked for another restaurant chain. Her family were regular visitors to the Fuel and she loved the energy of the place - she can even recall her old order, the Beetnic, no cheese. Old school.

On what prompted her to apply, “The cool staff environment and the good food definitely attracted me to come and work here. The staff always looked like they were having fun and hanging out, while making dope burgers (which is exactly what we do!)”.

Lauren was promoted to Store Manager at the Cuba Street store prior to the March 2020 lockdown and has since moved store to manage BurgerFuel Hataitai. Finding the organisational aspect of running a store the most challenging initially, she soon realised that this was fundamental to managing a store and leading a team. She has also learnt first-hand, that a people and culture first approach can have a huge impact on the in-store environment.

I enjoy the interactions with my staff and really try to make genuine, compassionate relationships with everyone I work with. It really helps with the atmosphere in the kitchen! I think being a store manager has enriched my inter-personal skills and, of course, my organisation and leading skills too. I know that'll definitely carry through to any jobs I pursue later in life.

On what has been the highlight so far: “The highlight of my time here is 100% the people I've met and get to work with. We all get along well and working with friends makes it really comfortable and fun, especially on busy nights! I would also say, being a part of this ad was pretty damn cool - getting to see behind the scenes and doing something I never thought I'd do. And being flown up to Auckland with my partner for the experience was awesome too!”

Lauren and Jackson spend as much time as they can travelling the country in their self-contained van. They’ve done some miles around the lower North Island and have plans to live in their van full time. She “bloody loves” Wellington City and her passion for her hometown is infectious.

Wellington is such a good city. It's so funky and in my opinion really allows people to express their individuality. The views here are so awesome and the city is surrounded by so many bush walks, which I love to do in my spare time. It's a very student-based city, I'd say, so the vibe is pretty chill and, oh my gosh… the food. I'm obsessed with food and have so many places I love to eat. That's definitely a hobby of mine, for sure! Aunty Menas is an AMAZING Malaysian restaurant and my best friend and I have literally been going there for 10 years. As well as the chilli oil dumplings from Rams, I also love to go to the restaurant, Mexico, with Jackson - they have the best Margaritas!".

Keep being rad, Lauren.