Locals could have been excused for turning their noses up when they first heard of The Gannet restaurant opening up in The Sunnybank Hotel in Glasnevin, Dublin.
But Jude Bredin had big ideas for the little-known hotel and bar. Local man Jude, 29, had a big task on his hands from the word go. The Sunnybank Hotel and Bar didn’t have the reputation it was striving for amongst the people of Glasnevin and surrounding areas.
But things are different now and the Sunnybank is rising once again, and it’s got a lot to do with the exceptional food coming from The Gannet.
Two months after starting up, Jude says he’s over the moon with how things are going and although the hours are tough, he’s loving every minute.
He said: “I’m a little shocked by the amount of hours I’m currently working! There is a lot of work involved in running your own business. It is 24/7 for sure, even my day off it is constantly on my mind. But it’s exactly what I wanted to do and so much more rewarding when you are doing it for yourself.
“The most difficult thing was figuring out the menu and working on the recipes. I spent a lot of time researching and recipe testing – I wanted to make my dishes the best they could be, something that I would be proud to stand behind & ultimately get people to want to come back again and again. The menu is small, for now at least, but I want people to come here for the best goujons and burgers around! It’s still early days but the feedback has been great and word of mouth is the best possible form of marketing.”
Asked about setting up a business and going out on his own for the first time, Jude said that although he moved through jobs at times, it has always been his plan to start up something for himself.
He said: “It has always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something for myself. I spent the previous four years working for an international food company dealing with independent franchise owners who were running their own businesses under the global brand. That experience gave me the insight into what it takes to run your own food business. I was advising them what they should do to improve their performance and I figured I should just be doing this myself!
“I left my job with the intention of eventually setting up my own food business. I decided that I needed certain skills so I signed up to attend the Ballymaloe Cookery School for 3 months – that was an amazing experience and inspired me to open The Gannet restaurant. I figured that if I was ever going to work for myself I needed to just do it and thankfully an opportunity came along at the right time.”
The culinary expert believes students are putting too much pressure on themselves these days and advised people not to panic too much if they’re unsure of what to do after college.
The Glasnevin chef said: “I would say that people graduating from school or college shouldn’t worry too much or put too much stress on themselves trying to figure it out. What you think your plan is will change, that’s almost a certainty. Try and get different experiences and if you don’t enjoy a role or what you are doing, do something different.
“You will find your own path even if it takes longer than other people. Be OK with that and you will enjoy it a lot more. Life is not about ticking certain boxes that society tells you to. It’s OK to take the time to work out what inspires you. If you want to start up a business, just get out and do it. Don’t look for reasons why not to do it. Do it first and then deal with the reasons that come!”
Now that the business is up and running, Jude believes it’s all about taking it to the next level and striving to be the best he can be.
He added: “I’d like to build a reputation for good food first and foremost but also build sales to a level that allows me to grow the business. I’d love people to think first of The Gannet when they are thinking of where can we get a great Cheeseburger! Personally I would like to establish the business to a level that would allow me to then work on different projects.”
The Gannet can be found on Botanic Road in the Sunnybank Hotel and Bar and is open Wednesday-Sunday. You can look them up on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheGannetDublin/reviews/.