There are not many restaurants in PKO where Group Manager Outi Pohjoranta has not worked during her 25-year cooperative career. It all started as a summer employee at Prisma’s Lasipallo café. After turning 18, Outi started working at the restaurant Karelia, first as a ticket seller and then as a bartender.

“I wanted to advance in my career, so I gladly accepted shift manager positions at Karelia and then jobs at Amarillo and Public Corner. After my maternity leave, I was offered a shift manager position at Kimmel Night Club”, says Outi.

Outi worked at Kimmel for quite some time, as she became responsible for Kimmel Night, Riverside restaurant and Virta pub. Managing three restaurants was her first role as an accountable supervisor.

“I’ve never been afraid of challenges, but when I was offered the position of a restaurant manager at the sports bar Bar Play, I was terrified at first. I wasn’t a sports enthusiast. I didn’t even know the difference between the Champions League and the Premier League. Well, I just started devouring sports news.”

Now Outi is happy she took the plunge.

“The work community was great and I learned a lot when I also became responsible for Las Palmas. Perhaps the greatest achievement of my career was when I was elected Manager of the Year in 2020.”

Humbly but courageously

The coronavirus pandemic turned also PKO’s travel and hospitality organisation inside out. For Outi, this meant that she had even more to do. She is currently in charge of PKO’s chain food restaurants and pubs, a total of eight units. Restaurant managers are direct subordinates of Outi.

The newest addition to the chain restaurants is the socialising restaurant VENN, which was opened in the Market Hall at the end of June. Outi is looking forward to a great future for the place, as interest in the new Market Hall has been huge.

“It’s great that we can offer new experiences for the city’s residents, because that’s what the restaurant business is all about.”

Outi says she is a person who likes to get involved in new projects. Even when they do not only concern her own units, but the entire industry or even the cooperative. These include participation in the opening of new units and various operational development projects.

“The fact that I’m invited to participate in such projects is, in my opinion, a great sign of trust, which I am very impressed with.”

Thanks to various projects, Outi has had the opportunity to participate in several different S Group training courses. The projects themselves have also taught a lot, and her expertise has increased all the time.

Over the years, Outi has noticed that new tasks and more responsibility are available if you work hard and remain humble in the right way. A supervisor must also tolerate the risk of failure. The reward for successes is good memories that last for a lifetime.

She encourages her younger colleagues to boldly throw themselves into new challenges and experiences. But it’s not worth rushing. There are no fast lanes. Responsibility comes when you get things done properly.

“My own superpower is that I really immerse myself fully in all work tasks and new projects”, says Outi.