In the beginning
I grew up in a very small town. Like many people these days, my parents divorced early in my story. It taught me a very important lesson in that their are things that are out of your control and worrying about those things is a waste of time. It made me a very adaptable, realistic person who tries not to dwell on what might have been, but to always appreciate what is right in front of your face.
My first job was working in my grandfather’s furniture store warehouse. It was a family business where my grandfather was the boss and my mom worked in sales, so I stood no chance. I learned that you always stay busy and when you do something, you do it right the first time. This was the foundation for my work ethic.
Welcome to the world of fast food
My first official job, was working for Wendy’s. We were a motivated team who outperformed all other stores in our owner’s region in quality and speed of service. I learned a lot about systems working in that highly structured environment. I met some of the best people in my life working that job.
Time for full service
After fast food, I made the move in to full service restaurants and have not looked back since that day. I became a server at Logan’s Roadhouse in 2004 and spent a year learning the industry and moving from server to bartender. The company had great values that they spoke about every day and this was my first experience working somewhere that had a real culture.
A year after I started working for Logan’s Roadhouse, I accidentally fell in to an opportunity with Bonefish Grill. Originally it was just an opportunity for a college kid to make a little more money, but it turned in to much more than that. I learned how to dissect the dining experience during my time with Bonefish. I moved from server, to bartender, and my final position with the company was as a key employee or hourly manager. We were a very successful team that was number one in the company in beer, wine and liquor percentage of sales for the four years I was on the team. As a firm believer in every thing happens for a reason, I was lucky enough to meet Brandon Landry one night while I was bartending at Bonefish Grill and everything would change.
Where I am at now
Brandon is one of the founders of Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar based in Baton Rouge, LA. He mentioned that they wanted to take their concept outside of their comfort zone and come to Lafayette, LA where I was part of a very successful team. I took him up on the offer and started my journey as a service manager in 2010. We began preparing to launch the future of the brand and were fortunate enough to be joined by some amazing individuals to assist us with that process. Scott Taylor and Kathleen Wood were both a huge part of what we were able to accomplish and a major part in my personal growth. Although Kathleen has turned to other ventures, Scott stayed with the company and is currently the President of Last In Concepts, the management company for Walk-On’s. I was a service manager for a year and a half and then moved in to an operational support role based out of “The Mothership”. I was given the title of Mothership Intel. In that role I have been fortunate enough to touch and learn from so many areas of our company. This has allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time. In this role I have helped with menu design and development, preparing company budgets, staff training for new menu items, management training for new systems, help coordinate new store openings, some IT work, and marketing with a focus on social media. It’s been an incredible ten year career so far and I look forward to learning twice as much over the next ten years.
Each day is a gift and you have to be ready to take advantage of opportunities at any moment. Succeed humbly and always thank those who help you along the way. That’s what mom always taught me and it’s paying off so far. I appreciate each and every person who has had a hand in shaping me into the person I am right now because right now is pretty good!