Staff Stories

Sanjay, Culinary Director, COYA

“In December 2011, I got a call from Mr. Arjun Waney to meet him for lunch. I had heard so much about
him and his restaurant empire – Zuma , Roka and the Arts Club to name a few – so I was very excited
about the opportunity. To this day, he is the most inspirational person I have ever met. I was thrilled to
be asked to help develop the COYA concept and take on such an exciting project.
I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some amazing things in my life but COYA has definitely been
the best job I’ve ever had. Travelling the world and creating concepts with an amazing team has been
the most rewarding part for me.
My most memorable moment was the day we opened COYA Mayfair. My family and Mr. Arjun Waney
were all there, the restaurant had an amazing energy, food was flying, the front of house was pumping.
After 11 months of blood, sweat and no sleep, seeing the concept come to life was an emotional
moment that I will never forget. The most rewarding moment was two weeks later when COYA was
voted by Zagat as the ‘Hottest New Restaurant in the World’. All our hard work was worth it.
My advice to anyone looking to join us is that COYA is a family, so best to embrace it with your heart. Do
the best every day and strive to be the best you can be and COYA will always support you along the journey.”

Carlyne, Senior Restaurant Manager, COYA London

“On the search for a new challenge, I joined COYA because I was curious to learn more about its lifestyle
concept. Even though my background was focused on Michelin fine dining, I knew I could bring my
personal touch and attention to detail to COYA.
I started my COYA journey at COYA Angel Court, where I was welcomed with kindness and generosity.
They designed a two week development plan specifically for me which allowed me to spend time in each
department, meet the team and fully immerse myself in the COYA concept. I met some amazing people
who are just as passionate about food and beverage as I am and I loved the experience. After that I
moved to COYA Mayfair to take on a new challenge. I consider COYA a new success in my career and my
transition from fine dining to the lifestyle concept has been very natural. I learn more every day by
working closely with my team.
My most memorable moment was during my training with the team when I demonstrated how to carve
a chicken. I demonstrated the first carving, explaining the process step by step, then each staff member
carved their chicken and we all enjoyed them during our family meal. We had a lot of fun during this
experience and were able to enrich one another with our different experiences. My advice to someone looking to join COYA would be to be open, creative, willing to learn, take pleasure in what you do, and most importantly have fun.”

Carlos, Members’ Head Sommelier, COYA London

“I joined COYA because I’ve always been interested in learning more about the diversity of others
cultures. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to travel to a new country and improve my skills in
hospitality.
My friends pushed me to take the job and I’m so glad they did because I enjoy every single day that I
spend at COYA. There is always something here that makes you smile. Most of all, I appreciate the
friends I have made here and still make every day. We are all from different countries and cultures, but
at COYA it feels like we are one family.
My most memorable moments are the three promotions that I’ve been given since starting as a waiter
at COYA. This is thanks to the people that I work with, who support me, teach me and learn from me
every day.
The diversity of cultures, the growth opportunities, all that you can learn from the people that you work
with; these are unique experiences that you can only have once. These opportunities do not come often,
and I am lucky and very grateful to have experienced them at COYA.”

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