Position: General Manager at Gaijin by Paul Virant in Chicago's West Loop
Chef Paul Virant (Vie, Vistro) is hiring a General Manager for Gaijin, his new Japanese restaurant opening soon in Chicago's West Loop. Gaijin will be the first okonomiyaki-focused restaurant in Chicago (gaijinchicago.com). Extremely popular in Japan, okonomiyaki is a savory pancake, griddled and customizable with everything from cabbage, noodles and veggies, to pork, shrimp, fried eggs and “dancing” bonito flakes, plus lots of tasty toppings.
This is a singular and exciting opportunity to be an instrumental member of Gaijin's founding management team and to introduce this unique new concept to Chicago. The GM will work from Day One to curate an exceptional dining environment for our guests and to establish a successful, efficient restaurant operation and team. The GM will report directly to Chef Virant and Gaijin's Business Partner and also will work closely with our Beverage Director, particularly in the area of staff education.
BACKGROUND AND QUALITIES
The GM who takes the helm alongside Chef Virant should have:
- The "hospitality gene" paired with unsurpassed communications skills (verbal and written)
- Significant GM experience (at least 3 years), with strong, enthusiastic leadership skills
- Proven ability to be an encouraging, effective mentor for staff and promote a cooperative, team environment
- Experience opening a restaurant, including hiring a full FOH team and spearheading/leading staff training and education
- The ability to manage many moving parts in a high-volume, fast-paced environment, all while maintaining a focused but fun attitude
- Passion for food and beverage education, as this position will be integral to educating staff and guests on what may be unfamiliar (but delicious and exciting!) dishes, techniques and flavors; existing knowledge of Japanese cuisine and culture much appreciated but not required, although an enthusiastic desire to learn is
- Financial acumen, including capacity to analyze P&Ls, and proven track record for meeting goals
- Consistent high-energy level: Gaijin will be an all-day, 7-days-a-week operation
- Solid problem-solving skills, plus the flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile and step in as needed without necessarily being asked
Just a few of the responsibilities of the GM position will include: managing and overseeing the day-to-day FOH operations (POS, reservations system, etc. — familiarity with Toast and/or Resy a plus); hiring and on-boarding the opening Gaijin FOH team; developing and leading staff training, education and evaluations; staff scheduling; following daily financial procedures, and maintaining costs and sales goals; delivering above-and-beyond guest relations and satisfaction; handling repairs and maintenance; coordinating with our communications/PR team; and evaluating operations to see how we can work at a higher level. As this is a new restaurant, we expect the GM role to grow and change over time.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The GM will play a key role in Gaijin's success and growth and will be recognized as such. Compensation, benefits, timing and growth opportunities to be discussed.
Send an email to [email protected] with:
Subject line: Gaijin GM: Your Name
Attach your resume as a PDF.
In the email body, include a few sentences about why you are interested in this position.
Also describe in a few sentences a recent dining experience that really stood out for you, and why it is memorable.