Bethany Landon

Bethany Landon, manager of Seasons Marketplace and interim catering manager at Iowa State University in Ames, started her career at ISU in catering but was chosen to run ISU's $13 million newly renovated dining facility, Seasons Marketplace.

Why Selected?

Cameron Aisenbrey, communications specialist for the Department of Residence and ISU Dining, says: Bethany started her career at ISU in catering but was chosen to run our $13 million newly renovated dining facility, Seasons Marketplace. She currently oversees more than 280 staff members and a $6.8 million budget.

When Seasons opened, staff members could have easily questioned Bethany’s credentials for the job, but she quickly proved any hesitations were not necessary.

Details

Manager of Seasons Marketplace and Interim Catering Manager, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Age: 27
Education: B.S. in hotel & restaurant management, master’s in business, both from ISU
Years at organization: 5

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

One of the big things I am proud of is opening up Seasons Marketplace. I didn’t start with that until June and we were up and rolling by August for service. So we had two months to get to know one another, figure out how everything was going to work and smooth over any tensions.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I’d like to think that I am more flexible to change and more willing to try new things. We’re willing to make mistakes and we just go for it, balls to the wall and figure out what’s going to happen.

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

A big challenge was the perception that comes with being young and blond. My age has nothing to do with my skill. I’ve worked against that by leading by example. I’m not going to ask someone else to pull 18 hours a day if I’m not doing it. That’s earned me a lot of respect with the people who have been here a long time. That first two months were the toughest. I’d have these people who were my parents’ age calling me kiddo every day. I’m sorry, please don’t call me kiddo.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I think the coolest thing for me is getting a phone call or Facebook message from a student of mine from years ago saying, “hey, this is where I am and I attribute that to you.”

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I know the direction I want to go is up. I want to keep learning and growing. I’m always keeping the door open for new opportunities because Seasons wouldn’t have been anything I would have thought of if someone hadn’t put it in my head. I just want to keep my options open.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce dirt

Savor at McCormick Place developed the Green Thumb brand for menu items and products featuring its rooftop bounty; the latest is a pale ale made with the first crop of hops grown on the roof. Promoting that branding and the convention center’s green certification has brought in business from groups with a sustainability focus.

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

FSD Resources