Backstage at The Lowry: Mike Lee, Restaurant & Food Services Manager


I started at The Lowry seven years ago as a casual waiter in our restaurant. I instantly fell in love with the food, the service and the people. Studying Media and Performance at Salford University, the job suited my needs and the people I met made the job worthwhile. After a short hiatus in 2011, working in marketing for a local bakery, I return and took up my current position as Restaurant and Food Services Manager in September 2012.

My role is very diverse; I look after all of our public food areas from The Lowry Restaurant to our Tower Coffee Shop.  A typical day for me doesn’t exist; the old adage of no two days the same might sound clichéd but when there are 4 different shows in the building, two coach tours and a private dinner, all in the same day, it’s not too far from the truth.

Working in hospitality is about delivering quality and consistency. I work with my team of supervisors and 80+ casual staff to ensure that our customers all receive the best possible customer service we can provide.

Over the past year I’ve worked with our Food and Beverage Manager to procure some fantastic locally sourced products for our Tower Coffee Shop. The cupcakes we sell are handmade in Broadbottom. The moment we tasted the samples (the best bit of my job) we knew that we had to sell them. Our sandwiches are from a local bakery and our soup is made fresh each day by our kitchen team.

In The Lowry Restaurant, my job is more creative than you might think. I work closely with our Marketing team on designing new menus and point of sale. I designed our brand new children’s menu which is full of great dishes the activities are designed to keep little one’s busy – the children’s Sudoku went down a storm in our office.

My aim is to increase the profile of what I think is a fantastic restaurant. I have a close working-relationship with our Executive Head Chef; together we ensure that our team is completely knowledgeable on the food we serve.  We try to source produce locally and from reputable suppliers, this ensures we’re providing the highest quality dishes to our customers.

Our new menu, which launched on Monday, is full of the best products that the autumn/winter season provides. From rich braised beef with bashed neeps to baked cheesecake with delicious winter berry compote. Each time we change the menu, I always look forward to tasting new dishes with my team and discussing our thoughts.

The next few weeks, our whole department is gearing up for the madness that War Horse will bring us, our restaurant is already selling well, occasionally fully-booked throughout December, Christmas cupcakes and our Christmas sandwich filling are on order and our Christmas menu has been prepped. It’s been a busy year, but it’s about to get busier.

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