Photo credit: Belles Hot Chicken
Founder of Belles Hot Chicken, Morgan McGlone, shares his thoughts on how food and culture have evolved over the last ten years and the value his multicultural staff members have brought to his business.
What have been the biggest changes you have seen in the food and hospitality industry over the last 10 years?
Definitely the amount of hours worked. Today I think many people working in the hospitality industry have learnt to achieve a better work life balance, than we did 10 years ago. We would often work 14+ hour days, but now there is a greater concentration on spending time with family and loved ones.
The other thing is chefs are now considered more and more like celebrities. I think this has a lot to do with the sheer number of food television shows, with programs like Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen becoming increasingly popular. I think people really like being able to have a look into the food industry from the comfort of their lounge room.
Where were you 10 years ago and what were you up to?
I was living in Paris and working in the fashion industry, taking a break from food.
At this time I was considering coming back to Australia, which I did in 2009. I moved back to Sydney and opened a restaurant with my brother Rick, before moving to America to work for Sean Brock at Husk in Charleston, South Carolina.
Food trends have come and gone over the last decade – do you have a favourite or one that sticks out to you in particular?
Fried chicken of course! I don’t see people getting sick of it anytime soon.
You’ve lived in, and travelled to many different countries. What’s your favourite dish you have been introduced to overseas?
Feijoada – a Brazilian stew made with beans and pork. It is a warm and hearty dish, similar to a French cassoulet that is best served with rice and oranges.
How do you embrace cultural diversity in your restaurants?
We have been very lucky to attract workers from all different cultures. Everyone has learnt to respect each other’s cultures and work together.
We have staff members from around the world and we regularly come together to share foods of each other’s cultures.
What are the benefits you have seen from working with multicultural staff members? What have they taught you?
All different cultures working at Belles have a great work ethic, which I really respect, and love. Since a majority of our staff have migrated to Australia seeking new opportunities, they have a great sense of pride in the work they do, which is awesome for the whole Belles team.
Keen to try Morgan’s Southern style fried chicken? Check out Belles.
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