South Tyneside kitchen house Restaurant Design Associates (RDA) has stepped up its aspirations to bring young talent into the industry by investing in apprentices and teaming up with local universities. And nobody better embodies its faith in giving the hospitality stars of tomorrow a chance than Sophie Atkinson.

The Northumbria University graduate has hit the ground running since joining the company as a junior designer less than a year ago, creating mood boards, drawing up elevations and altering CAD plans and monitoring schedules. She has also created front- and back-of-house sketch plans for a range of clients, including an expanding burrito bar chain and a catering project in the UAE.

“We’re always keen to support and develop new talent at RDA, and when we met Sophie we were confident that she would be an invaluable addition to our growing team,” said RDA’s managing director Roy Addyman at the time of Sophie’s arrival last year.

RDA provides a comprehensive design and installation service for the hospitality, catering and retail industries, and works with international blue chip companies, NHS trusts, contract caterers and private businesses of all sizes. The family-owned firm, which is deeply proud of its professional and friendly approach, plans to recruit further graduates over the coming year and has vowed to continue working with local universities to show students that if they have a strong interest in catering design and installation, they can go far in their careers in the North East.

“Sophie has created front- and back-of-house sketch plans for a range of clients, including an expanding burrito bar chain and a catering project in the UAE”

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