Micah Melton

Micah Melton

Advisor/Investor in The Yuzoco

Not only teach, but learn. I try to never think everything we do is perfect, so I am open to listening and refining our processes. Everybody comes from a different background and many times a fresh set of eyes sees things differently and can hone in on the constant pursuit of perfection. Don't let your ego get in the way of taking someone's constructive criticisms.

Lead by example and treat everyone professionally and fairly. To provide an inclusive and caring environment, it’s important to keep an even temperament, give people constructive criticism and most importantly, tell people when they are doing a good job – I don't think hospitality professionals do that enough. Allow staff to be people and give them time when they need it for their mental and physical health.
The Flavor Bible is my most used resource. It has gotten me out of a lot of creative ruts. Outside of that, Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold, and Punch by David Wondrich are some of my most used guides for recipes and information.
I switched from beverage to culinary during the pandemic, and took over the To-Go operations for Alinea as they began to reopen their doors after the government mandated closures. I learned a ton and got to cook again, which is something I miss doing both personally and professionally. I also believe it helped Alinea open at a more controlled pace because the to-go revenue stream was constant and helpful for the business side of operations.
When we were opening the Aviary, our Ice Chef left right before opening day. I had spent a lot of time and energy and practiced my skills to be chosen as one of our Aviary bartenders. When our Ice Chef left we were having a hard time figuring out what to do and how to cover the opening. I offered to change roles and take on the Ice Chef role, though at the time it seemed to all of the Bartenders as some sort of "demotion." I just thought at the time that since the ice was going to play such a huge role and be so different from any other bar that I could be helpful in opening, and learn a ton while doing so. I had to rework / R&D all of our opening recipes as we didn't have any documented processes or recipes, so it was a lot of work. Doing so gave me an extra set of knowledge, and I was lucky enough to interact with Chef Achatz many times as he would often give guests "Ice Tours" so we began to develop a professional relationship that made moving forward in the company a little bit easier and was the groundwork for my current role here.
As a manager, I still make myself a prep list. I know what I want/need to accomplish on a day-to-day basis. That helps me feel confident when the work is actually finished and I can call it a day. I am a firm believer that if you have 10 hours to complete 4 tasks, and you have 10 hours to complete 40 tasks, you are likely to finish both sets of tasks. It's important to focus and have a sense of urgency to complete your work for the day, and not just to complete your shift, especially as a manager.

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