Member spotlight with Mimi Gilmour-Buckley, co-owner of the Burger Burger business which employs hundreds of people across three restaurants. The 34-year-old, who plans to roll out more Burger Burgers across the country, says she is living her lifelong dream.
1. Your mother was a well known restaurateur, were you always destined for a career in hospitality?
Yes absolutely. Our family share love and respect with all our favourite people through hospitality. Turning that into a job was my dream come true!
2. What was your first job?
Helping my Mama’s friends at their dinner parties and nannying gorgeous children.
3. What is your earliest food memory?
It is more of an occasion. My sister Sophie and I used to set our own little table every night, even with a candle, to have dinner together.
4. Who, in business do you most admire?
I don’t have anyone person specifically. I am lucky to have got to a point where I have a lot of very clever people around me whom I speak to specifically about areas that they have strengths where I don’t! I also have a lot of friends who lead their own businesses and we often talk things out with each other which is really helpful!
And how important has it been for you having strong female business mentors in your career?
Very. The reality is that women face very different challenges than men for many reasons in business and we are the hardest on ourselves therefore we need each other to be able to navigate through it.
5. How do you handle stress?
I try not to champion the idea of stress. I’ve always been a ‘busy’ person and to be honest that is how I work best. I have had to learn to look after myself a bit better as I have got older and got more family commitments so I just make sure that I am as healthy as I can be and that in turn means I can look after others and our business without breaking!
6. Who are your three dream dinner party guests, living or dead?
Yotam Ottolenghi, Marcella Hazan, my sister!
And what would be on the menu?
Multi course Italian/Middle Eastern deliciousness matched to even more delicious wines.
7. You are currently opening your Burger Burger restaurants around New Zealand, what’s the secret to a successful restaurant?
Good people, good quality ingredients and consistency!
8. You’ve eaten in some of the best restaurants around the world, what does New Zealand do well? What could we improve on?
We do good chat and we have some of the world’s best meat and fish if you ask me! What do we need to improve on? Supporting and championing it as a great career.
9. How can we attract and keep young people in the hospitality industry?
By providing them with challenging and inspiring work environments, keeping them accountable and recognising their successes.
10. What is in your burger of choice?
Beef & Cheese medium-rare, broccoli.
Bonus Question: What would be your last supper?
My Mama’s Beef Bourgignon & my Uncle’s Chardonnay, Te Mata Elston or Coleraine!