Meet Our People


Great prospects for great people

Up through the ranks

David Stallman, Head Chef, Café Rouge Southgate

“I first joined Tragus - at the tender age of 16, starting as a kitchen porter at Café Rouge in my hometown of Hitchin. I worked my socks off and rose through the ranks – Commis Chef, Chef de Partie, Sous Chef – all the way up to Kitchen Manager. I showed faith in my people, just like my managers had shown me in me, and we broke record sales several times over. I was then invited to apply to be a Kitchen of Excellence at Cafe Rouge in Southgate, my Sous Chef then took up the mantle of Kitchen Manager, something of which I am very proud!

Throughout my Tragus career I’ve been free to express my passion for food, drink and people. I’ve helped our Brand Development Kitchen with Chef training and devising new menus, shared my experience in menu training sessions and skills workshops, and helped new starters take their first steps towards running their own kitchens. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s people that live and breathe Café Rouge who make our brand. And that’s true from top to bottom."

What a journey into area management

Rebecca Clarke, Area Manager, Café Rouge North & West London

“I joined Tragus as a general manager in 2006, opened the first Ortega in Harlow then moved to Café Rouge Hertford. I was also General Manager at Chelmsford and Lakeside. My Area Managers and the Support Centre training team gave me fantastic development, and I became a Senior Restaurant Manager in 2010. I was given four restaurants to manage, which included my ‘own’ in Chelmsford, as part of the process of developing me to be an Associate Area Manager and then an Area Manager.

The quality of the Tragus coaching and mentoring enabled me to move up to Associate Area Manager in just ten months, overseeing ten restaurants. This was when I moved out of restaurants and into the field. It gave me the time and space to focus on driving results and standards. Within a year I’d relocated to East Anglia, and in 2012 I was promoted to East Anglia Area Manager, with 12 restaurants. Now I’m responsible for all the Café Rouge outlets in North & West London. It’s been some journey!”

Out of the kitchen, into the restaurant

Sean Reeder, General Manager, Café Rouge York

“I started with Café Rouge as a Chef. That was in 2009. I was quickly progressed from Chef to Kitchen Manager, opening Café Rouge kitchens in York and Sheffield, and troubleshooting in Harrogate.

Tragus then made it possible for me to transfer my kitchen management skills into a Front of House management role. Just over a year later I was promoted to General Manager. And now, with the extra investment coming in, my prospects at Café Rouge – and across Tragus - are looking even rosier.”

Catch that buzz

Lucy Newton, General Manager, Café Rouge Chester

“My Tragus journey started during August Bank Holiday 2010. That was when I joined the Bar Team in Liverpool One, which Tragus has since sold off. Within hours I was hooked on the buzz of the work. And I wanted more. So through grit, determination and lots of support, I made it to Management in just three years. 

My line managers trusted me to launch projects, implement sales driving ideas and run a Café Rouge as if it was my own. I’ve now been the General Manager of two Café Rouge outlets, and I never stop learning. All my Front of House roles have taught me more about how the business works as a whole. The more I experience, the more I know, the more I can progress and pass on. And that buzz I got on day one? It’s never left me.” 

A field role with a new beginning

Alper Zan – Associate Area Manager – North West/East

"I started my journey with Café Rouge in Printworks as a General Manager in 2008. Meeting and working with some incredible people focusing on delivering great French food and wine, with a personality.

I was then promoted to Centre of Excellence Manager and then delivered area training to both Liverpool One and Cheshire Oaks sites. I’ve always focused  on exceeding our customers’ expectations and on our people development. I am very proud to see so much love from our customers and so much passion and commitment from our people for our brand.

I have so many fantastic memories with the “Café Rouge Family”, having fun while working with great people in business at all level. I’ve just been promoted to Associate Area Manager and I can’t wait to start my new role….. and make many more lasting memories."

Achieving is believing!

Alina Secosan – Associate Area Manager – South West

"My journey with Café Rouge started 7 years ago. I started off as a part time waitress in CR Oxford whilst I was finishing my Master’s Degree. I got hooked to the business. I loved talking to people and interacting with my peers. After a couple of month I became Supervisor and then Assistant Manager.

In 2009 I became a General Manager and was given the opportunity to open CR Witney, which a managed for 4 years.

In 2013 I needed a new challenge, St Paul’s became available, this was a much bigger site and was full of great development opportunities for me. Although I had a great  Area Manager at the time who believed in me and in internal development.

I have recently attended a General Manager Development Day which was extremely challenging but fun, I was successful following this day and am now an Associate Area manager. I am looking forward to an exciting future with Café Rouge!"