Carina Barrera

Carina Barrera

Wine Club Director at ACME Fine Wines

Patience is key to getting the most out of your team. All great things take time to develop and being patient allows you to build trusting, lasting relationships with your team. Patience shows a commitment to everyone’s growth as individuals and as a unit.

Focus not only on personal growth and development, but learning and embodying the culture and vision behind the restaurant. Inspire yourself and others to move the entire team forward towards that vision. Seek out the ways in which you can develop the role you are in. Promotions and career development will naturally follow suit.
The first chef I worked with gave me the simplest, yet truest advice I know: "Hard work makes your own luck".
Do not get bogged down by the operations of running a business. When developing new systems or introducing new activations, continually remind yourself of the guest. Our business at the very core is about caring for other people and they must always be present of mind. The logistics will work themselves out.
Get a dog! Or a cat! In all seriousness though, the hospitality industry can be consuming. It has been very important for me to maintain a strong foundation with friends and companions that present a fun outlet outside of work.
Surround yourself with individuals who inspire and push you. Recognizing where I can learn from those I work with who are more knowledgeable in areas than I am not keeps me engaged and eager to know more. It is a great motivation to constantly be improving when those around you are talented and successful.
I am a big fan of podcasts. They are a daily part of my commute to and from the restaurant and a great way to stay informed when you are not able to devote a large portion of time to reading written publications. Munchies, Eater Upsell, The Four Top, and Gastropod are a few that I subscribe to that provide a great perspective of multiple facets of the food and restaurant worlds.
I have always cherished that working in restaurants presents the privilege of witnessing your guests experience the "product" first hand. Watching guests as they enjoy your menu and beverage is not only satisfying but can also be very beneficial. The information you glean from simply observing guests can inspire changes and adaptations of many aspects of your restaurant.

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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