Interview with Andre Pienaar, Restaurant Manager

Andre Pienaar has been at English’s of Brighton for almost six years, working as our Restaurant Manager. Here we chat to him about his experience in the restaurant industry, how important customer feedback is for him, and what he likes doing outside of the restaurant.


What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working and interacting with people, both the staff and our customers.

What’s your past experience in the restaurant business?
Upon arriving in the UK from South Africa in ’99 I worked as a chef for around seven years, after which I made the move to front of house as an Assistant Restaurant Manager. I worked for large high street brands to begin with but soon discovered that my preference was to work in privately owned concerns. Prior to moving to Brighton I lived in Guernsey for a number of years, managing a wonderful seafood restaurant called The Auberge. I then moved to Brighton, and after a quick stint at The Hilton Brighton Metropole, I arrived at English’s of Brighton.

Have you always worked in the food industry?
In a word – yes.


What’s your favourite dish on the current menu?
I love a plate of seabass fillets with crispy squid, chickpea and French bean salad.

How involved are you with menu testing and selecting the wine list?
I’m always included in the development stage of new dishes, and am lucky enough to feel confident that my opinion is always taken seriously.

Do you get a lot of feedback from your customers?
We constantly get feedback from our customers. As an experienced manager one does not always require specific feedback, as you learn to pick up the subtleties of the mood of the room and manage accordingly.

What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love singing, and have recently joined a choir. I also take lessons to improve my solo singing. I adore baking and cooking of any sort, and simply love entertaining.

Have you ever seen any of the infamous ghosts that are said to haunt the restaurant?
Sorry to disappoint, but I’m afraid I have seen no evidence yet – I promise you’ll be the first to know! If I survive…

If you have any questions for Andre, you can email him at