Without people there would be no Madklubben – and we have at least as many great stories as we have colleagues. We are actually over 600 employees in the Madklubben family and in this story you shall meet Johan van Duffelen who has the role as assistant manager at Bistro Royal. But we shall also a stop by Sri Lanka, Nørrebro and the great love…

Jolan – your from Holland, but how did you end up in Denmark?

“It’s actually a cute story – after my high school years in Holland I did not know what to study, so I went to Sri Lanka to do some volunteer work. I lived with 20 young people and we were like one bog family – it was here I met my girlfriend and today she’s my fiancé. We still saw each other after Sri Lanka and one day I decided to move to Denmark and go for the big love. I started to study here and shortly after arriving in Denmark I got a job at Bistro Royal. That’s the short story about me and Denmark.”

What have you learned about Bistro Royal during your five years?

“I’ve learnt quite a lot. I’ve been working in the service industry since I was 16 years old so I have quite some years of experience. I started as a runner, then I became waiter, afterwards inspector and now I’m assistant manager. I’ve learned a lot about the industry due to my many roles and I feel that I’ve got a great all round perspective and I know how the restaurant works. Due to my many coworkers I’ve also learned how to communicate better and work as a team so the restaurant is running as good as possible.”

What have you learned about Denmark and the Danes?

“The culture in Denmark and Holland are quite alike but besides moving here and getting settled the language has been the biggest challenge. Luckily for me most of the people I meet speak really good English, so I was able to communicate well until my Danish improved. Today I’m practically fluent in Danish and some people actually think I’m from Jutland, when they hear me speak. I quickly fell on love with Copenhagen and after five hears here I feel like a part of the Copenhagen – and that Copenhagen is part of me. People are generally really friendly here and the city is easy to acces by bike – Copenhagen has also become more international and multicultural during my time here – when I came here you could not find many restaurants who would hire an English speaking person and that’s different today.”

Could you describea perfect day at the restaurant?

“A perfect day at Bistro Royal starts with me coming in a bit early so I have time for a cup of coffee and have the possibility to chat with my colleagues. Then I start looking at the bookings and plan how to run service smoothly. It’s also makes my day when both guests and colleagues are satisfied when day is over.”

How would you describe the DNA of the restaurant?

“It’s a restaurant for all; young and old and for those who chose to have a light meal or an all evening experience. Our prices are fair so everyone can afford a great meal and we can practically always help guests who have special wishes or needs. Bistro Royal has a relaxed and cosy atmosphere with a French twist.”

What’s your own favorite dish at the moment? 

“It’s hard to choose bud I love meat so I would say a rib-eye steak with fries and sauce bearnaise – or a steak tartare.”

Do you have a great story from Bistro Royal that you can share with us?

“There are many different stories that can be told during my work years but one of them still very clear in my mind was a couple traveling from Australia and having lunch in the restaurant. They were super sweet and we had a great chat during there stay. The next day the couple came back and talked with me about that they came back not just because they liked the food but specially because they loved the atmosphere and they could really see that the team was working together so well and having fun during work. That complement always stayed in my mind and is definitely a story to remember!”

Last but not least – what’s on the 2019 agenda in your personal life?

“I have many plans for 2019. The year began with my promotion to assistant manager and I’m excited to see what I can learn from my new position. I’m also finishing my education and my fiancé and I bought a new flat last summer and we’re still renovating. We also planed to go on a longer trip this spring, so lost of stuff will happen!”



Name: Jolan van Duffelen
Age: 25 år
Job: Assistant manager
Home: Mimersgade at Nørrebro
Status: Engaged
Fun fact: No day is a bad day! Always try to see the best of the day and keep the spirit up and there should always be space for a joke!