Alexcia Smith

Alexcia Smith, assistant general manager for Restaurant Associates at Café 57 at Hearst Tower in New York, oversees a team of 20 associates and is responsible for the daily café operations, which includes managing a robust marketing program.

Why Selected?

Rupa Rao, general manager, Restaurant Associates, Hearst Tower, says: Alexcia oversees a team of 20 associates and is responsible for the daily café operations, which includes managing a robust marketing program. Her passion for food and hospitality along with her positive energy and innovative style set her apart from others in her field.

Details

Assistant General Manager, Restaurant Associates, Cafe57 at Hearst Tower, New York, NY
Age: 26
Education: B.P.S. in culinary arts management, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.
Years at organization: 3

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Being broken in as a marketing manager as well as a café manager. I have learned the importance of marketing ourselves. I am proud of what we’ve been able to do with social media. We have more than 200 fans on Facebook and more than 400 followers on Twitter.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

You know when you make a mistake and you just beat yourself up over it? My current supervisor, Rupa, would always tell me if you make a mistake you can’t really dwell on it, you have to learn from it.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Learning how to deal effectively with guests, my staff and co-workers. I’m proud to say it’s an area I’ve done well in. I’ve grown a lot over the past three years. I’ve learned to become more approachable because I used to be very shy. I stress the importance of open communication, it's works out best when everyone has a clear understanding of all things and we're all on the same page.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I have to say it was my radio interview with Gayle King [editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine]. She came in and asked if we could have a day that focused on peaches, like we had done with blueberries. We had a spicy peach barbecue chicken sandwich at the sandwich station. We did a peach and watermelon gazpacho soup. And we served Gayle King's own peach polenta upside down cake at the dessert station. She was so excited about it she invited me on her radio show to talk about the café. It was pretty awesome.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

I’ve really come a long way. I used to be very shy and very nervous and now you can’t get me to shut up. I guess because it’s a media company I’ve learned to come out of my shell and interact with anyone. It’s a really nice culture here. You are forced to come out of your comfort zone.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
WinCup foam food containers

From WinCup.

Cost control.

Two little words that are essential to every foodservice director’s day-to-day activities.

Keeping costs in check is paramount in running a functioning food operation, of course. But the ripples of cost control can extend beyond your bottom line. And savvy directors must balance customer satisfaction on the P&L sheet.

Fiscal Responsibility

The foundation of cost control is accepting fiscal responsibility, which requires a solid understanding of foodservice accounting. Prime cost, the combined cost of food and labor, is an...

Industry News & Opinion

Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

Read the...

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

FSD Resources