“The staff I work with keeps me motivated and I love teaching them to further their knowledge. I love taking care of the staff and members and garner happiness. I want people to want to come back. I want people to enjoy where they are, whether it’s work or a dining experience.„
It’s important to take care of your staff; they are the heart and soul of the restaurant. They are the face of any restaurant, ensuring that the guests leave the establishment with a positive experience that makes them want to return.
Chef Andreas Sellner, who was the Executive Chef at The Reserve, has and continues to be a mentor even after he has retired. He has taught me a lot and without him, I would not continue to work where I do. He’s taught me to be tough but caring, and has demonstrated and coached me how to be a leader for the staff.
The most influential job I have had was with Kiawah Island Golf Resort at The Sanctuary at their fine dining restaurant, The Ocean Room. This was my first restaurant job, and I applied while going to the College of Charleston for something to do during the summer. I thought, “I’ll do this for a few months for some extra cash”. I ended up working there for 5 years. Garth Herr, the Sommelier at the time, needed some help with his wine program so I agreed to help. The more I learned about wine, the more interested I became in other beverages and all facets of the Food & Beverage world. I eventually achieved my Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Sommelier certifications, which helped me get to where I am now.
After working at The Ocean Room for a little over a year, I was promoted to server and it didn’t take me long to realize that the most rewarding part of the day was when I knew that I had guests that were satisfied and I could make an experience better for them. I started it as a summer job and then it just turned into my career.
I like to look for applicants that have had fine dining experience and a willingness to learn other aspects of the Food & Beverage world. A positive attitude and how a person carries and presents themselves is very important to finding reliable employees.
I try to make myself as available as possible. I want my team to know they can reach out to me with any issues, concerns, or problems, whether it be work related or personal. My main concern is keeping the team happy and giving them the resources they need at all times. I try to educate them by exploring different wines, liquors and beers so they can in return educate the guests.
My family is very loving and continues to inspire me in many ways as I progress in my career. My dad coaches me in my career and gives me advice as I learn and grow as a manager. I try to emulate his management style and how he cares for his employees. He has set a great example for me to follow. My mom has taught me that there is kindness in everyone and everything; she is the kindest person I know. I try to react to people the way my mom would when it comes to building relationships with other people.
You can’t do your job without the right tools, and for me it is the staff. I could not do my job without my team’s support and dedication. The staff is always so accommodating and willing to step in anywhere if needed.
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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