Chris was working at the Norwin Diner when a friend of his told him about the Park Classic Diner which was opening in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. At the time, he was a culinary student looking for a food service career. Chris was hired as a cook at the Park Diner. He quickly was promoted in to Assistant Manager. Given that Chris spent 9 years in the Army Guard leadership was nothing new to him. After 2 years of being an Assistant Manager, he was promoted to a Manager and after 6 months he was promoted to General Manager.
His favorite memory was assisting the District Manager with the operations of the diners. His learning accelerated during that time. It honed his time management skills. It showed him the importance of details and “fresh eyes.” He was with the Park Classic Diners for 10 years before Eat’n Park closed the brand. Chris said it was a sad day when the diners closed. But, it was also a happy day because none of the team members had to lose their jobs. They were all given the opportunity to work at the Eat’n Park’s closest to them. He still stays in contact with some of the diner folks and enjoys the time they spend together. They are still as funny now as they were then.
Chris said the way Eat’n Park closed the diner is proof that they value people. They walk their talk. He loves the fact that you work hard, but you also play hard. He loves “Night at the Races” which is an event to collect money for the local Children’s Hospital.
Chris’ advice to new folks starting out is that business is business. At times, management can struggle with their relationships with hourly team members. You need to hold everyone accountable for their actions no matter who they are. Everyone needs to uphold standards. You can be friendly, but you need to realize that business decisions must be made.
Thank you Chris!