Meet Sara - Deputy General Manager at Fazenda Manchester

1 Tell us your Fazenda Story

What a story and what a journey, Fazenda is a big part of my life story.

I started this journey when a friend of mine handed in my CV, eight and half years ago. I was invited for an interview that would immediately change me in many ways. Ruben, my current GM, interviewed me and I still remember every detail.

I started as a Junior Bartender, with very little experience after travelling from my country, but my willingness meant I quickly moved onto become Senior Bartender. Little did I know how much I was yet to learn and grow.

After speaking so highly and proudly of Fazenda, I have had many friends join this incredible company, many of whom are still a part of this family today.

In 2017, I opened our little sister Picanha by Fazenda in Chester. As a manager, being a part of its opening taught me big lessons and after ten months, I decided it was time to go back home to Manchester. I was welcomed back with big arms and since then, I have been promoted to my current position as Deputy General Manager.

During lockdown, our Team overcame the hardest times that hospitality has faced so far. It proved that Fazenda is a school , Fazenda is home, Fazenda is family!

2 What is your favourite way to make our guests feel special?

I normally use the expression “spreading the magic". What gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment is being able to engage with our guests in a way that makes their experience remarkable.

I try to be myself, always being genuine, that’s a rule for life. With that, comes doing what you love the most. For me that means making sure you can spot what a guest wants and being able to deliver that. There are a million things that can make them feel special, the goal is to be able to spot those things. I've learnt that this is something that only experience, empathy and people skills will be able to deliver.

3 Tell us your top 3 places to visit in Portugal that are off the beaten track

I am a travel lover! I travel for discovery, for the little things that can be so big, and for this Portugal is one of the best places to visit.

The coast of Alentejo, named 'Costa Vicentina', is not so well-known by tourists and is perfect for surfing. Porto Covo is a small little town with incredible beaches with architecture that is to die for. Rui Veloso, a famous Portuguese singer, tells the story of it in one of his songs. The tourism never wavers in the unbelievably beautiful setting of Burgau at the Algarve, nicknamed the ‘Santorini of Portugal’.

Last but not least, Aveiro, part of my district. I am so proud of its gastronomy, boats, rivers and of course the warm and welcoming people. Called ‘The little Venezia’, its culture is incredible for those in love.

4 Last podcast you listened to and loved

Well, Ruben, my GM, is the man for podcasts, so we get them suggested quite often!

This wasn’t the last I listened to, but certainly the most memorable episode was on ‘Unreasonable Hospitality’ (on Simon Sinek's podcast)

I heard this podcast at a moment that I needed it, to provide momentum. I've started reading the book but have not finished it as running is taking up half of my lifetime! Theres some great views, great learnings, and a great story behind it. I have actually used part of the book as part of my own recruitment.

5 Your top advice for someone who wants to pursue a leadership role within hospitality?

Everyone has their leadership tools and ways in life, and I don’t believe in right or wrong, instead I believe in building and following your own path. My own experiences have made me the leader I am today.

From my experience, perfection is non-existent, people are not robots. But being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and making sure you listen to people to understand their perspective is essential. With this you'll be halfway to gaining the respect of your team.

Being by the book won’t always work and apply to everyone. Empathy goes a long way in being able to understand others, allowing you to move forward as a leader.

In your journey, aim for people to see you as someone that once inspired them. There is no better feeling.

6 Your favourite Fazenda Meat, Wine and Dessert

Picanha is my go-to, a house special and is incredibly tasty but I will run away from my usual this time. I have a few favourite meats: Sirloin, Rib Eye and our Chicken hearts. The way they are cooked brings out their tenderness, I just can't get enough.

Our desserts are homemade and it makes them really special. I would personally choose our Dulce de Leche Coulant, the warmth of the fondant combines perfectly with the freshness of the ice cream.

I have learnt to appreciate wine as when I started at Fazenda I didn't use to drink it. Now, Valvieso Carménère is at the top of my list. We sadly no longer serve it, but the spicy touch of a Carménère grape made me truly fall in love with it.

Oh, we could not agree more on the dessert front - and the meat front, actually, all great choices there. Do say hi to Sara next time you visit us in Manchester, Fazendeiros!

Sara - Fazenda Manchester's Deputy General Manager

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Please read all reservation terms stated on this page. By making a reservation with us you agree to our terms.

  • Reservation Terms

    Online Reservations
    Tables of up to 10 guests can be booked straight from our website (9 for Fazenda Birmingham and Edinburgh).

    For larger tables please contact [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and our Reception Teams will be happy to help with your enquiry.

    After making your reservation you'll receive a confirmation email. Should you not see this in your inbox after a few minutes please check your spam/junk folders. Do let us know if you have not received it and we'll be happy to help.

    Dress Code
    Our dress code is “elegant smart casual”. We do not require gentlemen to wear jacket and tie, however, we do not permit sportswear (gym wear) or beachwear.

    We welcome children of all ages and believe we provide a great atmosphere for families to enjoy the restaurant experience. In the evening if guests wish to make a reservation with children under the age of 8 please do so for no later than 6pm (reservation durations vary depending on the number of guests so please note the reservation cannot go beyond 8pm). When making a reservation please count children in the total number of guests and let us know if you need a high chair or space for a pram/pushchair.
    Please note: We politely request that children are always supervised and remain seated at the table to allow our teams and other guests to move around the restaurant safely and maintain physical distance.
    Lastly, please note that children under 16 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult to dine.

    Cancellations & Deposits
    We might require card details for some reservations. Your card will not be charged upon booking and your details will be securely processed by Stripe.

    If you no longer wish to keep your reservation, please let us know with as much notice as possible. Should you cancel your reservation or reduce the booking size less than 24 hours before your reservation date and time, a charge of £10.00 per guest will be processed.

    Halal Selection
    Halal reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

    The team at Fazenda take food safety very seriously and particularly so when it concerns allergens in food. On our website you can view allergen information on our Menu page. When visiting us you'll have access to it via our menus and also on our Market Table.

    In line with legislation passed in 2007 Fazenda is a no-smoking restaurant. We do not allow e-cigarettes inside either.

    Pets & Guide Dogs
    Animals are not accepted unless assisting guests with additional needs.

    Guests are allowed to take photos and videos for personal use inside the private dining room, gardens and on the terrace. At the moment we are not able to accommodate any photography requests for professional or educational purposes until further notice.

  • FAQs

    **What are your opening days and times? **
    To view each restaurant opening times please click on Locations and choose your local Fazenda.

    Are you accepting walk-ins?
    We are now accepting walk-ins once again.

    How can I make a reservation?
    You can make a reservation via our website or by contacting your local Fazenda by clicking on Locations.

    Do I need to pay a deposit for my reservation?
    We might require card details for some reservations. Your card will not be charged upon booking and your details will be securely processed by Stripe.

    If you no longer wish to keep your reservation, please let us know with as much notice as possible. Should you cancel your reservation or reduce the booking size less than 24 hours before your reservation date and time, a charge of £10.00 per guest will be processed.

    Can I have drinks at the bar?
    Absolutely, and reservations are not needed in advance for our bar areas.

    Are Christmas reservations available?
    They are indeed, via our reservations page.

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