Proudest career accomplishment in the past year:
Reopening Cultivate, a student-run gastropub here on campus. Last summer, we changed our service model from full service to fine-fast to combat labor issues and high ticket times. This change involved a lot of planning and leaning on strategic supply partners to come into fruition. It has been the smoothest opening I have accomplished in my career as of yet. I firmly believe that the hard work and preparation leading up to the opening was instrumental to the viability and success of our new model.
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome:
Breaking stereotypes about my age. Being a 30-year-old millennial often comes with preconceived notions about a lack of work ethic or mismatched priorities. I enjoy taking the time to break those stereotypes with our more senior staff.
One thing you would change about foodservice:
Industrywide, we have a big problem with overconsumption of alcohol and addiction. Oftentimes, we work long, strange hours, and staff fall into the trap of the after-shift drink. I have personally seen a lot of peers get lost in this phase and become too heavily reliant on substances.
How the industry will change in the next five years:
I see technology creeping more and more into our space. Successful operations will be able to coalesce these changing dynamics into better systems and operational measures. Staying ahead of these trends while also being judicial when implementing technology is a must. I see self-ordering kiosks growing in our sector, specifically, and I think this poses a fun challenge for unit managers and operators like myself to not only embrace these challenges, but also adapt their management styles and skill sets accordingly.