Group General Manager Edmond Bonett is set to leave Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro after almost two years.
He made the initial announcement on Monday, revealing that he is facing an “emotional” day and rest of the week for “many different reasons”. He then proceeded to thank his wife, family and also various other “very special people” that he has been surrounded by during his time at Manouche for their support.
Additionally, on Tuesday he expressed gratitude towards the Manouche team for attending his farewell dinner on Monday evening, stating that he is “more than sure” that they can “continue sailing this ship” without him.
“It is not easy being in the driver’s seat of any organisation, although at Manouche, apart from the natural challenges and excitement this brought along with it, it was special,” he said.
The Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro team during Edmond Bonett's (centre) farewell dinner / LinkedIn
Following this, WhosWho.mt reached out to Mr Bonett, who confirmed that his final day working at Manouche will be this Saturday, and also revealed that his departure comes after he was presented with a “new opportunity” at a different workplace.
While he is waiting to reveal what his future job entails, he said that he has done a “number of positive things” at Manouche and felt that it was the right time to take on a “good challenge” for him.
Looking back on his time at the restaurant chain, he said that he joined Manouche when it had two outlets, back in July 2021, and in his first six months, it opened “another three and established the brand even more”.
“We managed to strengthen our company culture with teamwork, while also managing to branch into outside catering and weddings. Overall, we’ve done quite a bit in my close to two years here,” Mr Bonett said.
He remarked that strengthening the recruitment side of the business proved to be “crucial”, as it has also allowed Manouche to seek a replacement for Mr Bonett internally, rather than searching for a candidate from outside the business.
“I believe I’m leaving Manouche quite different from how I found it,” he said.
When asked about some of the notable achievements that will continue to resonate in his mind, he first pointed towards the various outlet openings that Manouche has had in recent years.
“The opening of the outlets is always a bit of a highlight, especially given we have to ensure that certain things are in place and also recruit internally. It is a challenging, yet rewarding phase at the same time,” he explained.
Today, Manouche has restaurants in Spinola (St Julian’s), Sliema, Bay Street Shopping Complex (St Julian’s), and Valletta, as well as an outlet in Mosta that is set to open soon. The chain also converted one of its previous outlets in Paceville (St Julian’s) into its new sister brand, Detroit Diner, which is more focused on American dishes.
Mr Bonett also earmarked the festive periods as some of the “busiest”, yet also the most enjoyable times of the year. “We are strong on all the seasonal items, and especially during Christmas and Easter, we are very busy and there’s a lot going on. There is a buzz around the people at the outlets,” he explained.
During summer, this same “buzz” is felt in Manouche’s recently-launched catering business, which also saw it host a wedding of around 600 people last June, during which it was requested to be flexible in its operations. “Even though we had challenging logistics, we managed to do it successfully, and it was a big achievement for everyone here,” he said.
Another aspect of the experience as Manouche’s General Manager that truly stood out to Mr Bonett was the recruitment of various employees during his time there.
“It is fulfilling when you recruit someone and they seem like a person that has potential to succeed, and then through internal guidance they achieve one promotion after another and go on to be very crucial to the business,” he concluded.
Aside from his time at Manouche, Mr Bonett has gained various years of hospitality industry experience, both locally and abroad. He has served in a wide array of management roles at Saqqajja Caterers, Xara Collection, Camilleri Tal-Ħelu, Kitchen Concepts Ltd and a number of other establishments in Malta, as well as at Hand Picked Hotels, Tony Tobin Restaurants Ltd, and Rhinefield House Hotel in the UK.