As part of our Basing Folk campaign and to celebrate International Men's Day, we spoke to influential men from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was Arif Goksel, Director of Sushi Maki.
What is your current role?
I’m the director at Sushi Maki. I look after our two locations, Basingstoke and Newbury. My role covers the day to day operations, our employees, finances and our expansion plans.
What’s the most interesting part of your role?
It’s a never-ending process. It’s very dynamic, with every day being different. Sushi Maki keeps evolving and changing over time, which has kept things interesting.
What’s your most vivid memory of working in Basingstoke?
Our opening week. It was madness, it was Christmas time, we’d just opened, and we had an amazing amount of interest from people. It was super, super busy. We had the excitement of opening in Basingstoke and going toe to toe with the more established and bigger brands. It was an amazing week that I’ll never forget.
What are the challenges for a man in your role?
Many! With the current situation in the market, what’s happening within the current economic climate, Brexit, the customer’s trust in the market is quite low at the moment. Our suppliers keep increasing the price; We’re always looking to improve the quality of our product while keeping our prices the same.
What advice would you give to a young man starting their career?
The food and drink industry is very dynamic. You can find a job within it very quickly. Once you know what you want to do and have committed to a role, you can advance in a very short period of time. This is why the restaurant business is so good for young people. People can start somewhere and end up in high positions in a short period. This does mean however, sometimes the pressure is quite high. It’s a challenging industry, but at the same time is very rewarding.