Jess started working in a cafe when she was sixteen years old. From there she moved to restaurants and bars in New Zealand, the UK, and Australia, before finally returning to New Zealand 10 years later. 

Currently she is the Functions Coordinator at Massey University’s Auckland campus. She enjoys it because she finally has her nights free again for the first time in a long time. 

She says the best thing and the worst thing about hospitality is the people. You do get the odd negative Nancy now and again!

Thoughts on dating

Jess always tries to make daters comfortable by complimenting them when they arrive, or making jokes about herself to make them laugh.

She says she can easily tell if a date is going well or not. If it’s going well there is a lot of laughter, free flowing drinks and probably touching over the table. If the daters are on their phone a lot or there are long silences, it’s probably not going well.

Her advice to singles is: Don’t get put off by one bad date - you have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince!

Personal life

Jess is glad she’s not on the dating scene any longer. She likens it to the Auckland weather… Pretty screwed up! 

She met her boyfriend at work 18 months ago when he was managing the bar she worked at, and they just hit it off.

They have both since changed jobs so they can spend evenings together at home - not at work.

Season two of First Dates New Zealand starts Thursday 19 April at 8.30pm on TVNZ 2.