Gretchen Richer

Gretchen Richer

Gretchen Richer, Director of People Operations at Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City, shares her career timeline and advice for up-and-coming talent.


My colleagues at USHG provide me with daily inspiration. I get to work with some of the smartest, most creative, most driven people in NYC and they push me to bring my A game in everything I do. In my role, I’m lucky to collaborate with operators from the front and back of house and experts in the fields of HR, Technology, Finance and Marketing – all working toward the common goal of professionalizing our industry and delivering Enlightened Hospitality to all.


EXPERIENCE
EDUCATION
I think an essential “tool” in my role is continued empathy and to be constantly listening to our employees as a means to drive initiatives and projects that impact their daily lives. You cannot communicate enough! I think my team and I need to be constantly communicating over and over again the “why” behind the decisions we make, especially as they impact the broader employee base. I think it’s essential in my role (and in our broader HR Team) to make decisions based on a combination of utilizing data and interpersonal instinct
When I first transitioned from an hourly employee at USC to a manager at Tabla, one of my colleagues gave me this advice – Don’t come into the job trying to change things right away or tell people what to do, but rather listen, ask lots of questions, and take everything in for a few months. Learning what is working, placing value on building trusting authentic relationships and understanding the culture will make a much bigger impact in the end and will allow you to make changes with much more buy in.
Early into her role at USHG, my boss was facilitating a meeting focused on building trust in the workplace and she said that there are “No trust neutral interactions.” Essentially every action we demonstrate and every word we utter is either building or breaking trust among our colleagues. That idea has really stuck with me and I try to think about it often in my day to day decision-making.
Randy Garutti (CEO of Shake Shack) was one of the people I interviewed with for my first management position. First, he told me all the things that were going to be amazing about being a manager – really getting me excited. And then, to my surprise, he told me all of the things that would be challenging and unappealing (long hours, zero time for friends or family, no time to go to the gym, you’ll be frustrated, you’ll make mistakes, people won’t do what you want them to do…) Because he was fully transparent about the experience I was exploring, the onus was much more on me to decide if I was going to opt in to the entire job description. That process helped me enter the position with no surprises as to what I was getting myself into and with clear expectations about what I was going to experience. I try to use that same approach when I conduct interviews and career conversations.


Send Us Your Nominations

If you know of any extraordinary food, beverage and hospitality professionals who inspire others through their hard work and leadership, nominate them now!


Nominate

Join the network and create your free profile
Search industry jobs here


Inspirational Career Timelines

Find your inspiration in the unique career timelines and words of advice these industry leaders have shared.



Categories
Culinary
Pastry & Baking
Wine & Beverage
Service
Office & Admin
Media
Experience
Career Changer
International Experience
James Beard Award

Oops! No results have been found for your selection.
Please update your selection to see more Inspirational Career Timelines.


Andrew Isabella
Executive Chef
Beetlecat



Ben Puchowitz
Chef and Co-Owner
Cheu Noodle Bar, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Cheu Fishtown



Jennifer Foucher
Head Sommelier
Fiola



Tova du Plessis
Owner
Essen Bakery



Nicholas Forrester
General Manager
Uni



Anncherie Saludo
Beverage Director
L'Artusi



Nicholas Tang
Executive Chef
DBGB Kitchen & Bar



Benjamin Weisberger
Chef de Cuisine and General Manager
The Butcher Shop



Erin Clarke
Executive Chef
Casa Luca



Mike Rafidi
Executive Chef
Arroz



Corey Chow
Chef de Cuisine
Per Se



Melissa Perello
Executive Chef and Owner
Octavia and FRANCES



Lou Ann Dorney
General Operations Manager
Farmers Restaurant Group



Amalia Scatena
Culinary Director
Easton Porter Group



Kenneth Foland
Executive Sous Chef
Busch Stadium, Delaware North Sportservice



Anna McGorman
Executive Pastry Chef
Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud



Matt Garland
Chef de Cuisine
Eastern Standard



Brooks Reitz
Founder and Partner
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. and Leon's Oyster Bar & Little Jack's Tavern



Helen Johannesen
Partner and Beverage Director
Helen's Wines and Jon & Vinny's



Will Costello
Master Sommelier and Estates Ambassador
Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estates



Ben Potts
Bar Manager and Partner
Beaker & Gray



Gretchen Richer
Director of People Operations
Union Square Hospitality Group



Rachel DelRocco
Sommelier and Writer




Dominique Ansel
Chef and Owner
Dominique Ansel



Grant Achatz
Chef and Owner
The Alinea Group



Melissa Rodriguez
Executive Chef
Del Posto



George Mendes
Chef and Partner
Aldea and Lupulo



Melissa Davis
Beverage Director and Assistant General Manager
Staplehouse



Suzanne Cupps
Executive Chef
Untitled



Belinda Chang
Director of Wine & Service and Managing Partner
Maple & Ash and Eight Bar & Patio



Jillian Rocco
Director of Operations
Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar



Dan Perretta
Executive Chef
The Aviary



Maneet Chauhan
President and Founding Partner
Morph Hospitality



Ken Oringer
Chef and Managing Partner
JK Food Group and Uni Boston



Craig Richards
VP of Culinary Operations
Ford Fry Restaurants



Nancy Cushman
Co-Owner and Founder
Cushman Concepts



José Mendin
Chef and Owner
The Pubbelly Group



Jeni Britton Bauer
Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams



Stephanie Castellucci
General Manager and Owner
Castellucci Restaurant Group



Kurt Chenier
Executive Chef
Target Field, Delaware North



Daniel Rose
Executive Chef and Partner
Le Coucou



Nelson Daquip
Wine and Spirits Director
Canlis Restaurant



Sarah Robbins
Chief Hospitality Officer & Partner
21c Museum Hotels



Ghaya Oliveira
Executive Pastry Chef
Daniel



Zachary Engel
Chef de Cuisine
Shaya Restaurant



James Zoller
Chef de Cuisine
TRACE Austin



Mike Solomonov
Chef / Partner
Cook N Solo Restaurants



Cherif Mbodji
General Manager
CAFÉ BOULUD



Marie Petulla
Owner and CFO
KP HOSPITALITY GROUP



Neal Fraser
Executive Chef and Owner
Redbird, Vibiana, Fritzi



Mike Wadja
Executive Chef
Proof on Main



Angel Postell
Founder
BevCon



Kelly Fields
Chef and Owner
Willa Jean



Andrea Borgen
Owner and General Manager
Barcito



Alexander Burger
Executive Chef
Bar Boulud



Sam Kim
Executive Chef
1789 Restaurant



Ben Steigers
Executive Chef
PABU



Sarah Simmons
Chef and Owner
CITY GRIT Hospitality Group, CITY GRIT, Birds & Bubbles, Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop



Kevin Maxey
Vice President of Tex-Mex
Ford Fry Restaurants



Jonas Andersen
Beverage Manager
Great Northern Food Hall



Joanne Chang
Chef and Co-Owner
Flour Bakery & Café and Myers+Chang



Jean Luc Royere
Executive Chef
Mandarin Oriental



Sara Fetbroth
General Manager
Oleana Restaurant



Josh Even
Executive Chef and Partner
Tosca Cafe



Matthew Ridgway
Executive Chef
Cooks & Soldiers



Tessa Thompson
Career Services Advisor
Institute of Culinary Education



Philippe Bertineau
Former Executive Chef
Benoit New York



Josh Henderson
Chef and Founder
Huxley Wallace Collective



Pascaline Lepeltier
Master Sommelier, Former Beverage Director
Rouge Tomate



Carmen Quagliata
Executive Chef
Union Square Cafe and Daily Provisions



Morgan Schick
Creative Director
The Bon Vivants and Trick Dog



Drew Belline
Vice President and Culinary Director
Ford Fry Restaurants



Eddy Leroux
Chef de Cuisine
Daniel



Dustin Wilson
Master Sommelier and Co-Founder
Verve Wine



Charlotte Voisey
Director of Brand Advocacy
William Grant & Sons USA



Eric Railsback
Partner and Wine Director
Mason Pacific



Nick Anderer
Executive Chef/Partner
Maialino and Marta



Chris Cosentino
Chef and Owner
Cockscomb and Acacia House



Matt Alba
Chef de Cuisine
Ad Hoc



Scott Baird
Co-Founder
The Bon Vivants



Katie Bell
General Manager
Agern Restaurant



Aggie Chin
Executive Pastry Chef
Mirabelle



Ezra Pattek
Attaché
The Bon Vivants



Robert Andreozzi
former Chef de Cuisine
Pizzeria Locale



Adam Nadel
Executive Chef
Casa Apicii



Shelley Lindgren
Co-Owner and Wine Director
A16 and SPQR



Brandon Malzahn
Corporate Pastry Chef
Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants



Michael Paley
Executive Chef
Café No Sé and Central Standard



Dan Snowden
Executive Chef
Bad Hunter



Yehuda Sichel
Executive Chef
Abe Fisher



Josh Harris
Co-Founder
The Bon Vivants



Peter Hoglund
Director of Operations and Partner
Frasca Food and Wine



Rhonda Crosson
Head Baker
MeyersUSA



Christie Dufault
Wine Instructor and Beverage Instructor
Culinary Institute of America at Greystone



Dan Kluger
Chef and Owner
Loring Place



Simon King
Former General Manager
The Modern



Alex Seidel
Executive Chef, Proprietor and Farmer
Mercantile dining & provision, Fruition Restaurant and Fruition Farms Dairy & Creamery



Travis Swikard
Culinary Director
Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, Epicerie Boulud



Wendy Kallergis
President and CEO
Greater Miami Beaches and Hotel Association



Michael Anthony
Executive Chef / Partner
Gramercy Tavern & Untitled



Edouardo Jordan
Executive Chef and Owner
Salare Restaurant



Anthony Strong
Former Executive Chef
Delfina Group



Laurent Gras
Owner and Chef
LGRAS Consulting



Barbara Lynch
Chef and Owner
Barbara Lynch Gruppo



Angela Neri
General Manager
Alfred's Steakhouse



Shawn Cirkiel
Executive Chef and Owner
Parkside Projects



Jennifer Carroll
Former Executive Chef and Partner
Requin



Alex Wolf
Director of Restaurants
Restaurants by Jean-Georges



Cynthia Billeaud
Former Senior Human Resources Director
The Dinex group



Gunnar Karl Gíslason
Executive Chef
Agern Restaurant



Borys Saciuk
Director of Trade Advocacy
The Bon Vivants



Alessandra Altieri
Director of Bouchon Bakery
Thomas Keller Restaurant Group



James Briscione
Director of Culinary Development
The Institute of Culinary Education



Jean François Bruel
Executive Chef
Daniel



Aniedra Nichols
Chef and Managing Partner
Fish N Beer



Tavel Bristol-Joseph
Pastry Chef / Partner
Emmer & Rye



Amanda Cohen
Chef/Owner
Dirt Candy



Benjamin Murray
Chef de Cuisine
Pao by Paul Qui



Charlie Parker
Executive Chef
Alfred's



Jamie Bissonnette
Chef / Partner
Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey



Vilma Mazaite
Consultant
LaV



Roxanne Spruance
Executive Chef and Owner
Kingsley



Gary Obligacion
Director of Operations
The Alinea Group



Diane Yang
Executive Pastry Chef
Spoon and Stable



Matthew McClure
Executive Chef
The Hive



Jeremy Sewall
Chef / Partner
Lineage Restaurant, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 Fort Point, Row 34 Portsmouth



Jonathan Deutsch
Professor of Culinary Arts and Food Science
Drexel University, Center for Hospitality and Sport Management



Anita Lo
Executive Chef / Owner
Annisa



Bryan Dayton
Proprietor/Beverage Director
Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn



Chris Flint
Chef de Cuisine
Eleven Madison Park



Monica Glass
Corporate Pastry Chef
Starr Catering Group



Daniel Toral
Beverage Director
50 Eggs Inc.



Anthony Chittum
Executive Chef / Partner
Iron Gate Restaurant



Kevin Fink
Chef/Owner
Emmer & Rye



Kim Floresca
Co-Executive Chef
[ONE] Restaurant



Timothy Hollingsworth
Owner / Chef
Otium and Barrel & Ashes



John Ragan
Master Sommelier, Director of Wine and Restaurant Operations
Union Square Hospitality Group



Aaron Bludorn
Executive Chef
Café Boulud



Joseph Yardley
Chef de Cuisine
Agern Restaurant



Eric Korsh
Executive Chef
North End Grill



James Kent
Former Executive Chef
The NoMad



Chung Chow
Chef de Cuisine / Co-Owner
Noreetuh



Vivian Howard
Chef and Student
Chef & The Farmer



Fabio Trabocchi
Chef / Owner
Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants



Eric Rivera
Former Director of Operations
Huxley Wallace Collective



Jeff Benjamin
Chief Operating Officer
Vetri Family



Anthony Rudolf
Founder
Journee



Floyd Cardoz
Executive Chef and Partner
Paowalla



Michaël Engelmann
Master Sommelier, Wine Director
The Modern



Gavin Kaysen
Executive Chef / Owner
Spoon and Stable



Jonathan Black
Sous Chef
Quince



Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
Executive Chef/Owner
Frasca Food and Wine



Bobby Stuckey
Owner and Master Sommelier
Frasca Food and Wine Group



Erik Desjarlais
Designer, Seamster & Leatherworker
Weft & Warp



Abram Bissell
Executive Chef
The Modern



Johnny Iuzzini
Founder
CHOCOLATE by Johnny Iuzzini



DLynn Proctor
Winemaking Ambassador
Penfolds, Americas



Carlton McCoy
Master Sommelier, Wine Director
The Little Nell



Pierre Siue
General Manager
Daniel



Sabato Sagaria
Master Sommelier, President
bartaco



Melissa Walnock
Lecturing Instructor / Pastry Chef
The Culinary Institute of America



Jeffrey Porter
Beverage Director
Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group



AJ Schaller
Former Executive Chef
Corkbuzz Wine Studio



Jason Franey
Executive Chef
Restaurant 1833



Jason Neve
Culinary Director
B&B Hospitality Group



Joe Campanale
Former Executive Beverage Director/Co-Founder
Epicurean Management Company



Erling Wu-Bower
Chef de Cuisine
Nico Osteria



Sylva Senat
Executive Chef
Maison208



Raj Vaidya
Head Sommelier
Daniel



Cesar Gutierrez
Executive Sous Chef
CAFÉ BOULUD



Chris Baggetta
Director of Prestige Accounts
Pacific Wine and Spirits



Nadine Donovan
Executive Pastry Chef
Ace Eat Serve & Ace Juice Bar



Kevin Doherty
Executive Chef
Delaware North Companies Sportservice at TD Garden



Graceanne Jordan
Former Director of Operations
Craft Restaurant Group



Jeff Katz
General manager
Del Posto and La Sirena



Donald Madia
Owner and Partner
One Off Hospitality Group



Norman Van Aken
Executive Chef and Owner
Norman's



Vincent Spinoso
Chief Operating Office
Metropolitan Hospitality Group



Anton Bolling
Executive Chef
Fiola Mare