Sayaka Watanabe

Director of Operations

After growing up in London, where she successfully completed a Diploma in Hotel Management, Sayaka started her hospitality career in Tokyo. After a spell at the illustrious Park Hyatt Tokyo, its Executive Chef, Rainer Becker, moved to London to open a Japanese restaurant, Zuma, and Sayaka approached him with an idea to introduce the concept of a sake sommelier to the business.

Sayaka consequently joined the Zuma and Roka group in 2002 as the UK’s first sake sommelier, introducing innumerable sake brands to the London market. She went on to spend over seven years as the Group Sake Sommelier and Restaurant Trainer, assisting in the global expansion of the brand in Hong Kong, Macao, Istanbul, Dubai and Miami. Sayaka joined the newly refurbished Arts Club as Operations Manager in 2011 and in September 2014, she was promoted to Director of Operations, where she continues to be responsible for the front of house team.


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