Jennifer Takara

Jennifer Takara is the safety guru for Bon Appétit at Yahoo!.

Why Selected?

Robert Hart, general manager for Bon Appétit at Yahoo!, says: Jen is our safety “Navy Seal.” She created, and continues to build on, a safety program. Jen applied for a student worker position at Bon Appétit as an undergraduate at Santa Clara University. After she graduated she was hired by Bon Appétit at Yahoo! as a café supervisor and is now running our biggest café. Jen has been an integral part of opening several new locations within Bon Appétit, creating, implementing and conducting training for safety programs at each location. 

Details

Café Manager, Bon Appétit, Yahoo!, Sunnyvale, Calif.
Age: 25
Education: B.S. in biology, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.
Years at organization: 3

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Successfully creating a space for safety in our cafés. Our employees are under extreme pressure to produce quality food on a strict timeline, often dealing with limited physical space and multiple moving parts. I feel most accomplished when I see other managers take the time to do on-the-spot training with their employees. It could be as simple as handing them a protective cut glove or taking the time to put up a ‘Wet Floor’ sign when an employee is mopping. 

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

I pay extra close attention to the way my colleagues communicate with each other and with employees. By keeping my management style pliable, I can adopt aspects of others’ management styles.

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

Take every opportunity to learn—even the most tedious or menial tasks can increase your knowledge of the business. 

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

Upon taking on the role of Safety Champion, I was sent to other accounts to help bolster their safety programs. The greatest challenge I faced was creating a Safety Champion persona that would be well received. I had to be compassionate and understanding, yet committed to sharing best practices. I avoided “auditing” my colleagues. Employees are sensitive to mangers’ attitudes when it comes to behavior change.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

A sous chef at a new account emailed me because she wanted some guidance on how to start training her employees. It was extremely rewarding to find that my work has paved the way for other managers to become Safety Champions in their accounts. 

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

I would like to join our corporate Safety Committee. I want to take my commitment to the next level. As a member of the committee, I would put myself in a better position to help pave the way for greater improvements related to safety.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

During my first year at Yahoo! I got into my car, hands full, and drove off with a bag with $300 in change on my roof. It fell to the ground and I didn’t realize it. I re-traced my steps, but the bag was nowhere to be found. Thanks to the security team at Yahoo! and some fine camera replay work, we located the bag. 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...

FSD Resources