LEADERSHIP TRAINEE INTERVIEWS
Tell us about this program and what was the most memorable training period?
"This program will teach you all of the basics about running a restaurant. You will experience in every position of the restaurant and how each piece is so important.
The most memorable training period for me was definitely training in Miami for two months. We were part of the opening team and I was the lead of opening the cafe area. I created the whole operation and it was my very first actual management experience. Before, I was more focused on my own duties, but I had to help out the team. There were a lot of moments where I had to just jump in and help whenever they needed. Since the restaurant was before the opening, there was no right direction, we did not have an answer, and I took a lot of time to think what is best for our guests."
"When you are in this program, you are learning, running and growing. You will learn the restaurant operation from step one. You will experience every position in the restaurant. This has helped me a lot-- whenever other stations need help, I am able to step in and help. This program always get you out of your comfort zone, you will have to face your weaknesses and overcome them; if you don't, you cannot go to the next step. This program is also very important because a lot of managers in other restaurants do not fully know the operation. They don't realize that, with even one small change, there are a lot of people and work that have to be involved. You have to understand how that change is going to affect other stations and how to lead and support them step-by-step.
The most memorable training period for me was when I was a Hostess at Paley. I thought hostess was going to be a simple position, compared to other positions such as dishwashing, prep cook, line, cook, busser, runner, expo, and server. I assumed hostess's task was to welcome and escort guests to the table. I was wrong, it is not easy at all. There is a whole lot of information you need to know, and a lot of skills and experience to possess. I was constantly doing tests and memorizing things. My mindset and perspective completely changed after the hostess period. There is no such thing as a simple and easy position."
"A program that nurtures you to be an outstanding restaurant manager and help you find your strength as well as weakness. You will learn the reality, in terms of how difficult it is to operate a restaurant: people management and operation-wise, the broad depth of the restaurant business (i.e. the importance of fresh ingredients; how different functions affect each other; what it takes to deliver good food, drink and service; how to read tables; what music does to the atmosphere; wine and food pairings). You will also see how much hard work, love and thought is put into each product.
The most memorable training period was when I was able to handle six tables as a server in Lolo’s. I was not able to handle a lot of tables during my training at Paley. When I was in Lolo’s, I wanted to handle more tables and strongly requested it. The manager trusted me and had me take care of six tables. During that time, I will never forget, I forgot to give out a birthday cake to one table. I was in shock and disappointed at myself for almost ruining someone’s important experience. That is when I realized, being a server, it needs a lot of attention and focus in order to deliver a great experience for guests."