We had the good fortune of connecting with Jane Marks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jane, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Most customers are simply unaware of the overheads we incur. And at the end of the year it all adds up! Everytime they ask for a free glass of water I incur packaging and utility costs. Everytime they walk in and use the restroom and buy nothing, I incur utility, supplies and labour costs. Everytime they ask to split an item its double the amount of packaging etc. When someone cooks at home they only calculate the cost price of the item. However in our industry you have to factor in rent, rates, labour, water, electricity, breakages etc
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The hospitality industry is never an easy path. So right from the get go you have to work just a little bit harder, longer hours etc to be noticed and slowly graft your way to the managerial positions. It entails alot of personal sacrifices in order to succeed. I learnt that it is vital to be part of a coherent team. And to treat everyone the way in which I would like to be treated. As the saying goes ” be nice to those you meet on the way up because you will meet them on the way down”. I started my career at the Athenaeum Hotel in London and realised quite early on that I would thrive better in a smaller hotel. I wanted a more personal management style. Im a fast learner and relished wearing more than one hat, performing more than one role in a smaller establishment. After many years in Europe,, I wanted to see if I could make it in the US. I opened Top Marks Cafe in 2015 and it is still going strong. I am so proud of all the awards I’ve received as that is the highest recognition of all the hard work it takes to make a success. (Rated in Yelps Top 50 restaurants in Greater Phoenix. Top 15 influential restaurant/ cafe in Phoenix Business Journal etc. ) I dont have a brand as such. The brand is me.! Someone who loves people and wants them to have a wonderful experience at the cafe.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question! So it all depends who is visiting!! Most of my friends are foodies so….. Sumo Maya is fabulous. Their menu is very creative. I prefer lunch as quite noisy in the evenings.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe part of my success is due to a wonderful professional training in Switzerland at Ecole Hoteliere Les Roches in Bluche. 3 years learning the hospitality industry inside and out. Wonderful teachers. I also want to credit my father. From a very young age he shared his passion for food with me. At 50 he changed careers and bought a country house hotel. He’s been a fabulous role model in his professionalism and dedication to an industry he loves. I learnt what to do and have adapted his teachings to my cafe.