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How I got my job as… Director of Operations of LPM Middle East

Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week we chat with Alexandra Audon Filali, Director of Operations of LPM Middle East. Having been in Dubai for over seven years, Alexandra joined the LPM Restaurant & Bar team as General Manager back in 2019 and has seen the brand go from strength to strength, weathering the storm that has been the COVID-19 pandemic and come out even stronger. As one of the staple restaurants in Dubai, having been on the F&B scene for over 10 years, LPM continues to be one of the top fine-dining establishments.

Having recently been appointed Director of Operations for LPM Middle East, Alexandra now oversees all the brand’s entities for the region which includes Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

Emirates Woman sat down with Alexandra to find out what inspired her to enter the Dubai F&B space and what the future holds for the LPM brand in the Middle East and beyond.

LPM Dubai

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved chemistry as I was growing up, it was a subject that I always looked forward to throughout my time at school.

What was your first job?

My first job was in France refurbishing antique furniture. Following that, when I was just 16 years old, I started my career in the hospitality industry working part-time in Saint Tropez to pay for my ambition to travel.

What inspired you to go into the F&B industry?

I am a huge foodie and have always been a people person so naturally, I have always loved restaurants and their intriguing concepts. I’m a huge adrenaline fan and I love that you experience that when working in the F&B industry.

What eventually brought you to Dubai?

I have lived abroad all of my life however I had never lived in the Middle East, and in 2015 when I was offered a job as Restaurant Manager at La Cantine du Faubourg, Dubai. I fell in love with Dubai immediately and have been here ever since!

How did you come to work for such an incredible brand like LPM?

By 2017 I was working as a General Manager at ‘Ninive’ and LPM contacted me about a position at their Dubai venue. They reached out to me a few times but I was extremely happy in my (then) current role however, I eventually accepted as I had always admired LPM’s brand and did not want to miss the opportunity. I would have only left my previous role for LPM as working for the brand has always been a goal of mine.

What are the key elements of your role?

In my new role as Director of Operations for LPM Middle East, I handle the overall day-to-day management of all of the Middle East locations (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh). My main priority is to ensure that the business is happy, and our team are even happier.

Talk us through your daily routine.

We have a rule at LPM; when you arrive, you must greet every single member of the team. Then, your day can begin. At 9.45am every morning, the whole team has coffee together. A ritual to ensure we are bonding with each other and creating a stronger team. After that, my day is a combination of team briefings and meetings with each department, handling the operations structure and driving the team.

LPM Dubai

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Looking after your team should be one of your top priorities. I would advise them to take care of every individual in their team, your team is what keeps your business together. You should always be open to learning from every person in the company – even junior members.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received was from my Dad. He taught me to choose my battles as I can’t win them all, which in turn has helped me to prioritise and relativize.

And what is the worst?

The worst piece of advice I have ever received is that ‘people are dispensable’. This simply is not true, no one is replaceable. Each and every one of your employees is important.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

At LPM we aim to pioneer and keep exploring, hoping to bring excitement to our guests and team members, and support the ever-evolving F&B industry (especially in Dubai), while not losing on what LPM is loved for.

What are your goals for 2022?

As part of the LPM family, my goal for 2022 is to support the evolvement of the LPM brand and concept and to keep pioneering. I will also be focusing on opening future locations in the region, the LPM brand is growing and I can’t wait for what lies ahead!

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Images: Supplied

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