Kaisi Kruus (left) and Maria Kruglaja were promoted simultaneously at Japanese restaurant Saké Restaurant & Bar in The Rocks earlier this year. Kaisi was prompted to General Manager; Maria to Assistant General Manager.
A Common Goal
The two Saké front-of-house team leaders have much in common. They are both Eastern European. Kaisi moved to Australia from Estonia 11 years ago. Maria is Latvian and arrived in Australia five years ago.
Both have been with the restaurant group for four years. Kaisi joined Saké The Rocks as Assistant Manager. Maria was a Junior Sommelier with Bar Patrón from its inception. She then joined Saké Double Bay, then the iconic Saké destination in The Rocks.
Both have only ever worked in hospitality. They each acknowledge the difficulties that go hand-in-hand with working in the industry. Yet both are committed to their profession and to those rising through the ranks in their team
“Even though I find it super hard at times, I enjoy that my team’s succession is my responsibility, which in turn also means that if they are successful, then so am I,” says Kaisi. “A successful restaurant team equals a successful leader, which is something that drives me, but ultimately, the buzz, the action, the people are what I love about my role here at Saké The Rocks.”
Maria is similarly committed to a challenging career and inspiring her team members.
“The industry has always thrown me challenges, but it is the best school of life. It has given me confidence that I can get through anything in life, the same way I get through anything during service, however busy and crazy it might get,” she says.
“I aspire to show the next generation how fun hospo can be and how much it teaches. It will equip them with essentials for life, even if this is not their forever job.”
The Saké super duo are so in-tune that they often finish each other’s sentences or reply to an email with the exact same response.
“I like working with Maria because we are very similar in the way we think,” says Kaisi. “Ninety-nine percent of the time we both give the same response to team members’ questions, which makes life so much easier.”
Maria agrees: “There have been way too many times when Kaisi and I would reply to an email or a text at the same time and would say the exact same thing. You can imagine how helpful that is when you’re on the same team. It Must be an Eastern-European thing!”
If you are inspired to join the Saké team check out vacancies here.