Lars Kristiansen

Lars Kristiansen

Vice President Food & Beverage at Great Wolf Lodge

I wouldn’t be able to do my job without a highly functional team. They compensate for each other, are collaborative, respectful and driven to support each other. Their ability to carry each other is extraordinary.

I was 15 years old when I knew I wanted to work in hospitality. My dad wanted me to get into his construction business. But I went straight to culinary school combined with administration for two years in Norway, where I’m originally from. It started with a passion for the culinary side, I loved the ability to be creative and artistic. After my apprenticeship, I went into the Navy which is mandatory and then went on to open my own catering business and worked my way up.
When I was a Director of F&B Operations at Carnival in Australia, VP Sture Myrmell (now President) gave me this advice that I have never forgotten: “Don’t forget how you would like to be remembered when you move, whether it is people’s perceptions, your conduct, your integrity or how you collaborate and work with your team.”
I like to reference this quote from Frank Lloyd Wright: “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and unremitting devotion to the things I want to see happen and achieve.”
My wife is the best support I have. She may not be a hospitality professional but she is a hospitality enthusiast and has high standards that constantly push me and inspire me.
We can always teach skills, but what we look most for is a good fit between candidates and us. We look for people with integrity, who are respectful and committed to learning our ways and processes. It's important to continually learn so that you never become stagnant.
One book that I highly recommend is Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Innovation is part of my job and this book really teaches how to evolve and continue to grow.
As an ACF (American Culinary Federation) Culinary Certified Administrator I have facilitated practical exams up to CEC (Certified Executive Chef). I am also very passionate about wine and the beverage industry and I lead monthly wine training for our super enthusiastic corporate staff as well – I love to teach. I also continue to educate myself by learning from my team, they all come from different background and have different skill sets, as well as our external partners, the wealth of information regarding their products, trends and innovation is incredible.

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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