Ashley Waugh

Ashley Waugh

Bar Director for Barbara Lynch Collective

We try to perform our best at all times, but don’t take anything too seriously – we’re here to host a party, if the host of a party isn’t having fun, your guests won’t have fun either.

Growing up, we hosted a lot of parties, so hospitality seemed like a natural fit when I was looking for a job in high school. I applied for a hostess position in a small coffee shop. I went to college for biochemistry to pursue a career in the medical field, but I realized it wasn’t an industry I was passionate about. I worked restaurant jobs all through college and got more serious about it.
My position at The Capital Grille helped me hone my career in high-end hospitality. It showed me what hospitality really was about: we’re here to create memorable experiences for people.
My team is incredibly hardworking and dedicated. Seeing their excitement every day inspires me. There is no way any one of us could do it without one another. We also wouldn’t be here without our guests.
Empathy is one of the most important skills to possess in hospitality. You need to have the emotional intelligence to read the situation and take on whatever burden your guests might have to allow them to relax and have a good time.
Boston is a very tight-knit community, we have our immediate community in the restaurant industry, there is a huge sense of camaraderie.
We provide education on a daily basis by choosing a different topic to go over every day, whether in wine, spirit or service. We also expect our staff to study outside of the restaurant. Find people who care and want to be here, rather than people who are in it because they expect an easy paycheck.
When hiring, I always say, I can’t teach "nice”: I look for someone who is caring and genuine, rather than someone who knows everything.
I like to go out on my days off and use the dining experiences to reflect on the service that I received. Did I enjoy it? How can I help my team learn from it? I also love cooking at home, trying new wines.
We try to go above and beyond for the community and neighborhood that we serve, and the guests that we welcome every day. We want to create an everlasting memory, similar to memories I have had myself in dining experiences.
Danny Meyer’s “Setting the Table” is an important book for the hospitality industry, as well as Charlie Trotter’s books. For wine, I recommend the following: “Windows on the World” (by Kevin Zraly), “The World Atlas of Wine” (by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson), and “The Wine Bible” (by Karen MacNeil).

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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