“Throughout my career, I have found that openness to new ideas and perspectives are key to developing our teams and ourselves.„
There are no perfect systems, only great outcomes that are unique to the peculiarities of a particular interaction. In turn, we should liberate the idea of perfection from the goal of performance. Attempting to prescribe perfection hinders the expressions that make our work authentic, honest and real.
Waiting on tables is a craft, and a brilliant on at that. Every day we are able to practice and hone our skills, doing work that challenges us physically, mentally and emotionally. As our expertise increases, the complexity invites us to act more deeply and thoughtfully.
The best piece of advice I have received is, “More rhythm, fewer rules.” While rules are critical for providing shape and structure to the guest experience, without understanding the values that drive those mechanics, we will only ever know how to act, rather than why. The more we can discuss these principles behind the rules with our teams, the higher their ability to perform intuitively and thoughtfully when the complexities of service force our systems to bend and flex.
Finding real and honest joy in some aspects of your work is critical to feeling a sense of balance in your life. That doesn't mean that we should love every task, but discovering activities that drive and fulfill us are enough to even out the struggles of even the most challenging days. For some, this may be crumbing tables or talking to guests; for others, it may be peeling asparagus. Whatever those moments are, we need to lean into them.
Our goal is to assemble strong teams. Therefore, ideal candidates exhibit a passion for working in collaborative, purpose-driven environments, and derive energy from the trust and support of their colleagues.
Finding opportunities to recognize exceptional work, sharing stories that exemplify our standards, and articulating our vision for the future of the restaurant, keeps the team inspired and motivated. We can tailor roles to ensure they are challenging, have clear expectations, and allows them to focus on their strengths. If people are engaged, then the motivation to succeed, learn, and grow will follow naturally.
I find inspiration from working alongside my colleagues. If I ever need an example of success, I look internally within the four walls of our dining rooms where our colleagues are excelling at tasks all the time.
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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