Ian Goldberg

Ian Goldberg

Chief Operating Officer of Boka Restaurant Group

Working in an industry where you are constantly learning and being challenged is a unique and special career. Boka Restaurant Group has provided me with an environment and opportunity to learn and grow and I am so grateful for that.

In college, I thought I really had an understanding of what it took to run a restaurant and bar. As I progressed into management with BRG, I was continuously shocked to see all of the things that go into concepting, creating and running a successful restaurant. I did not realize there were so many small, but essential things that fed into the success of a restaurant.
One of the major challenges of the hospitality industry is finding that work/life balance. You work yourself to the point of burnout, and that is not good for the company or your overall well being. It’s important to understand that taking time for yourself is OK! In an industry where you are always taking care of others, you need to be reminded to take care of yourself.
I'm inspired by the army of amazingly talented people who span all aspects of the operation, from the culinary and front of the house and everything in between. It is important to me that Boka Restaurant Group’s employees be given the space and trust to contribute, collaborate, and help collectively grow our concepts.
I am acutely aware of the importance of spending time with my family and make a point of being present when I am with them. I also rely on meditation and physical exercise as important practices toward keeping me balanced in life. I try to always express to my team that it is important that they do what they need to do outside of work and feel good about it.
Attributes that I look for in a candidate are positive mindset, ability to problem solve and ability to receive feedback. It goes without saying that to be successful in the hospitality industry, you need people who are friendly and personable and have the genuine desire to deliver exceptional experiences to our guests!
Restaurants are naturally fraught with problems and issues on a daily basis. Successful staff will have the ability to calmly and professionally deal with incidents and events. As an industry professional, a positive mindset is vital to adapting and adjusting whatever unexpected issues may arise. I focus on finding the people who aren’t concentrating on the problem, but apply critical thinking in looking for the solutions.
One of the best books that has helped me in my career is called The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I received this at the time I had moved into a restaurant manager role. I was new and making a lot of mistakes and really learning on the fly. This book came to me at a crucial point in my development. It opened my eyes to a lot of things I was missing, and how I could improve as a manager and leader.
My story started at BOKA as a bartender and I worked my way up. What I find truly inspiring is to see someone start in one place and through hard work, propel themselves further along in the company. I make it a goal of mine to provide any encouragement or assistance I can to help our employees achieve this.

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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