“There have been so many lessons that I have learned during my time in this industry. However the most important might be that our business is only as good as the people we hire. Our team represents Flagstaff House, the values of hospitality, philosophy, morals and principles that we stand by as a business. The success of our restaurant depends on the success of our employees, and it’s vitally important to show gratitude to those who represent us. „
There are two pieces of advice I have received that have stuck with me over the years. The first is that it’s incredibly important to be thinking ten steps ahead and to keep your focus outside of the box of “conventional” thinking. The second piece of advice is patience (still working on this, and probably always will be). Nothing great comes easily or quickly, and I’ve learned that it’s important to remain patient and persistent.
All of my past experiences have led me to becoming the person I am today. For instance, washing dishes at a young age taught me as a child to work hard and have exacting standards. And, my experience launching new businesses showed me how difficult being a small company owner can actually be. Finally, my experience in tax advising gave me very valuable insight into finances, and vastly broadened my business knowledge, invaluable in running a restaurant.
I knew this profession was right for me at a very early age – I always admired and looked up to my dad, uncle, and grandfather (founder of the restaurant). Every day I saw firsthand how hard they worked as well as how rewarding this business, restaurants, and hospitality can be. I loved the effect they had on the community and I wanted to make others happy in just the same way.
I’ve found that the key to a healthy work/life balance is making sure to utilize every moment of my day - I get to bed as early as I can and wake up as early as I can to maximize my time and take advantage of every moment and keep a positive upbeat outlook. On an everyday basis, I follow a work hard/play hard lifestyle. I also take full advantage of my time off, really unplugging and disconnecting. Finally, my fiancée is another great motivator to love the life I live.
When hiring I look for reassurance that we can have a mutually beneficial relationship between the business and the employee – it takes two to make any relationship work, and communication always comes first. True responsibility and consideration can be seen firsthand during the hiring process: prompt and professional arrivals to interviews, proper follow-ups, authentic communications, and so on. Those actions speak volumes, often more than words do.
Positivity is contagious, and I have learned that being a positive leader will make for a fun, positive and upbeat work environment. I try to never take myself too seriously, also owning my own failures or missteps can allow everyone to be open.
It’s also important to me to make sure my team is always feeling like that – a real team – and I oversee lots of team bonding experiences and activities that are separate from work and foster a fun sense of competition. For example, I annually organize a FOH/BOH competition during the Bolder Boulder, the huge 10k race our city hosts each year, with friendly prizes and awards afterward. I also schedule regular time for in-depth food, wine, and service training, which I consider inherently important and serves to keep the team interested and involved in every aspect of the restaurant.
I know that the restaurant industry is ever-evolving and that we will never fully master our craft and that inspires me to continue to push forward. There’s always something to learn and grow and keep us on our toes. And, I love the rewards - making people happy through our hard work is the most rewarding feeling. Through our excellent food, wine and service, we do just that every day! We are proud of our achievements and strive to always meet that level of excellence.
Eating out and traveling to experience other cultures is the number one way to educate ourselves in this business. Not a bad way to learn!!!! I know that it’s important to experience the “other side” of the dinner table, to keep a great perspective and add to our knowledge base. I’m always learning something new from others, and it allows me and other hospitality professionals to hit the reset button.
Guests! Without our guests we have nothing. Also, I would say great business partners. I’ve learned that it’s important to seek advice from those close to you with more experience and different perspectives.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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