Tell us about how you were introduced to Taziki’s?
I have been working for Taziki’s since July 2016 (2+ years). When I moved to Lexington, I had a friend that worked for one of our sister company restaurants and he told me about the new Taziki’s that they had opened on Southland Drive. He said how it was a growing company with a lot of opportunity. I am so glad that I went and applied because he was right!
Was it in the plan to work up as a manager?
In my first interview for Taziki’s, I did express a desire to move up to be a manager and I continuously strived to learn more and prepare myself for this goal.
Tell us more about your journey?
I was promoted to kitchen leader and then shift manager all in less than a year. I was very proud when I was asked to come to our second store and train the kitchen staff before opening.
I took it as an opportunity to show what I had learned and teach others. I enjoyed teaching everyone and seeing the impact I could make on people’s lives. About 8 months ago I was promoted to kitchen manager and transferred to the Hamburg location that I helped open.
How has the adjustment been?
The move was relatively easy because most of the employees already knew me from the store opening. My bosses also know I always try my hardest, so I wasn’t afraid to make a mistake. I enjoy the mentally challenging stuff, so for me, the adjustment has been fun and very rewarding.
How do you motivate your employees?
I look for ways to compliment them anytime I’m giving them constructive criticism. I like to get my hands dirty and show them how to do things, so sometimes I come in on a slow night with a couple pizzas and a cleaning list. We do challenges like who can sell more nightly specials or desserts.
Mostly, I think it’s important to explain things thoroughly; the “what” as well as the “why”. When people full understand their actions they are more likely to make good choices.
What is your favorite part of leading a team?
It’s one thing to be able to do and check everything yourself, but it’s really rewarding when you can teach others to do those things as well. I was able to leave my store with our corporate inspector and a shift manager through the lunch rush, while the rest of the management team went on a marketing blitz. Everything ran perfectly and it was a really rewarding day for me and the whole team.
How do you "Live the good life" outside of work?
This past summer I went skydiving and to Mammoth Caves for vacation, which was great! I enjoy amusement parks, and went to Kings Island a few times. I enjoy playing pool, racing go-karts, and going around town trying new places. Kayaking and hiking are two of my favorite pastimes to do outside.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m always working towards my next goal. Currently, I’m learning General Manager responsibilities so I will be ready when the opportunity arises. A good friend once told me, “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” and I try to apply this to all areas of my life.