Jeff Roache

Microssoft's Jeff Roache manages one of the top-performing locations on campus, and he does so by being resilient during tough situations.

Why Selected?

Derrick Aiona, district manager for Compass Group, says: Jeff leads a team of 18 associates, oversees payroll, inventory and overall profit and loss. Jeff was chosen to open one of Microsoft’s premier locations, and he and his team won second place for guest satisfaction. His café is one of our top-performing locations. He is resilient during tough situations and works hard to achieve results.


Senior Director of Dining Services, Eurest Dining Services, Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Age: 24
Education: B.A. in hospitality business management, Washington State University, Pullman
Years at organization: 2

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Being asked to be the director for a new Microsoft café. I am proud because it is one of the higher profile accounts, so I had to get people in who had a passion for making sure this place was successful.

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

Under-promise and over-deliver.

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

I think just learning to delegate. I had always been concerned that delegating tasks and adding additional work or responsibility to my employees would label me as a “lazy” manager. Yet, with the right staff in place, employees will be hungry to learn and they welcome the additional responsibility.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I was out of the office traveling for work and our executive chef was out on vacation, which left our sous chef and lead cashier in charge of the unit. The King County Health Department decided to do a surprise health inspection, and we scored 100%. I have also received e-mails from four customers letting me know how great of a staff we have at our café.

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

During my first restaurant job, our sous chef and two line cooks called in sick, leaving me as the only cook for the night when I had very minimal kitchen experience. We served 60 orders of my soup du jour, which I had created in the midst of the chaos. And yet, a customer soon brought to my attention the fact that I had forgotten to add pasta and beans to our normally very popular minestrone soup.

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