How I Got Here: Gavin Adair

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Gavin Adair Rosa's Thai CEO on banning phones in restaurants

Related tags Gavin Adair Rosa's Thai Cafe Thai cuisine Restaurant R200 Multi-site

The Rosa's Thai CEO and former Wahaca commercial director on how he stays motivated, the best advice he's been given, and banning phones in restaurants.

Describe yourself in one word

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

What's your biggest strength?

What has been your biggest mistake?
It’s hard to choose.

What makes a good leader?
A great team.

Who has had the biggest influence on your approach to business?
I’d choose an organisation rather than an individual. Joining and actively participating in YPO (​) has been a game changer.

How do you stay motivated?
Avoiding routine and spending time with people with good energy.

How often do you check your email?
Far too often. Despite knowing I check it far too often!

How do you relax?
On a hockey pitch, a golf course or a tennis court.

What was your dream job growing up?
I can’t clearly recall having one. But I suspect I dreamt of being a tennis pro at one point.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Take the bins out more often.

What would you call your autobiography?

What's something you think about the restaurant sector that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That we should seriously consider banning phones in restaurants and pubs. It pains me to see families and friends spending so much of their precious time together glued to their screens.

Do you have any business regrets? 
I don’t do regrets.

Gavin Adair: Biography
Born: Belfast, 1973

Education and/training: School in Ireland, University in Scotland, Accountancy training in England (ACA) and MBA from London Business School

Employment history: Grant Thornton - graduate trainee and corporate recovery exec (Leeds), manager corporate finance (New York), senior manager corporate restructuring (London); Channel 4 Television - various financial management roles; Ask Italian - finance director; Wahaca - commercial and strategy director; Rosa’s Thai - CEO

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