Cafe owner leaves 20-year fast food career
Mr Andrew Hardwick is the new owner of a Woy Woy cafe, leaving a 20-year career with a fast food store.
Mr Hardwick started working at Woy Woy McDonald's at the age of 16 when the outlet was first opened in June 1993.
"I gained employment to get money to buy a car and for extra spending money,' Mr Hardwick said.
"I did intend to work at McDonald's while at school and then at university, but as it turned out I was promoted to a trainee manager the January after I finished Year 12 and then my journey at McDonald's began," he said.
Mr Hardwick said some of the reasons he decided to stay at McDonald's for so long, were due to the great team he worked with and the satisfaction of developing young Australians in the workforce.
"I felt I was part of their development and helped them on the road to their careers and future," he said.
Mr Hardwick said he had developed a passion for the hospitality industry while working at McDonald's.
"I truly get a kick from the satisfaction I feel when you see a smile on a customer's face and I know their expectations have been well surpassed."
During his McDonald's career Mr Hardwick completed a variety of courses, including a Certificate 4 and Diploma in Management.
"I learned about staff training, both crew and management, profit and loss, health and safety, crew and management rostering and equipment maintenance," Mr Hardwick said.
After working for McDonald's for 20 years, and being the Restaurant Manager for 10 years, Mr Hardwick decided it was time for a new challenge.
"I always dreamed of having my own business and I thought a cafe would be great place to start.
"I worked hard on learning the ins and outs of a cafe and then realised my dream when The Red Lime Cafe at Woy Woy was up for sale," Mr Hardwick said.
Mr Hardwick decided to buy a business, as opposed to a franchise, as it would allow him have complete control over his Cafe.
"I want my cafe to have the legacy of customers enjoying an experience that exceeds their expectations.
"I want them to feel like they have come home and that they are part of my family.
"I want them to leave the cafe with a smile on their face.
"There are lot of older people who live on the Peninsula and they sometimes need an ear to listen.
"Giving them your time is free and really being there for them and giving them a place to relax is very rewarding," Mr Hardwick said.
The Red Lime Cafe is located at 4/115 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy.
Interview, 1 Feb 2017
Andrew Hardwick, Red Lime Cafe
Reporter: Satria Dyer-Darmawan