The General Manager, Liv Carter

Introducing General Manager & hospo icon Liv Carter

Where I started: Waitress at a yacht club (aged 18). 
Where I am now: General Manager of Soul Bar & Bistro. 

It’s the energy of her workplace that gets Liv Carter out of bed in the morning. Well, that and the promise of another day filled with connection — something that the enigmatic General Manager of Soul Bar & Bistro considers fundamental to her success in the hospitality industry. “The feeling that I get when someone walks away from an incredible dining experience is just amazing,” beams Carter. “It’s such a privilege to be a part of so much positivity and joy,” she continues. 

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Cutting her teeth as a waitress at a friend’s parent’s restaurant, Carter instantly fell for the vibrant and diverse nature of hospo work, and went on to study hospitality and tourism before setting her sights on Europe. It was there, travelling and working in bustling pubs and bistros, that she discovered her passion for hospitality events — drawn to their closed-loop nature and the host of incredible relationships built along the way. And she hasn’t looked back since. 

Carter worked a few jobs in Sydney learning the ropes in the events space before moving to New Zealand to ‘settle down’. By happenstance, she wound up securing a role in the office at Soul, and 15 years later, she’s never left. Climbing up the ranks from answering phones and assisting with corporate events to her current position as the company’s GM, Carter is now responsible for not only the events that she is still so passionate about, but the marketing, team management, and everything in between, often travelling abroad to seek fresh inspiration for food, drinks and entertainment — a facet of her job that feels full circle.

“The feeling that I get when someone walks away from an incredible dining experience is just amazing,” It’s such a privilege to be a part of so much positivity and joy.”

And while, when you ask Carter what her dream role is, she says she’s in it, she is far from ready to rest on her laurels. The opposite, in fact “We have nearly 120 employees at Soul, and we’re always looking for ways to innovate. From our cocktails to our wine list to what’s coming out of the kitchen; with our events and marketing and everything in between, we’re always striving to be delivering what you would expect to find overseas in some of the world’s best bars and eateries — and that’s constant,” she tells me. “My role is ever-evolving, and no two days are the same. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

When asked what advice she would offer someone looking to pursue hospitality as a career, Carter laughs, “You can’t be afraid of hard work!” She says. “I do believe that hard work earns you opportunities. If you’re committed, you’ll find doors opening up to you, where a world of opportunity awaits.” As well as that, Carter pins much of her later success on her bosses and colleagues at Soul, and the incredible relationships she’s fostered. “You have to find your people,” she says, “Find your place, and find your people, because when you do and you’re all on the same page, wanting the same things for the business, there’s where real success happens.”

Carter is a shining example of just how far a weekend gig waiting tables can get you with the right amount of ambition, drive, and a solid work ethic. She spends her days in the liveliest of locations, finding purpose in work that offers her so much in return. And as for the future, while there are plans to continue expanding on the events offering at Soul and many other exciting irons in the fire, when it comes to the ‘settling down’ part, we’ll see. 

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