I am not ever easily surprised. Seriously, I am not. But I was surprised when BJ told me he was promoted to General Manger in 20 months. Wow! That’s only about a year and half. Talk about a fast tracker. Getting promoted at the speed of light! How awesome is that?
Because BJ wanted to help people, he went to school for Criminal Justice. While attending school at Wheeling Jesuit he worked as a cook, dishwasher and cashier. He also worked in catering. After graduating he thought “I’m already helping people so I might as well stay in the restaurant industry.” So he then decided to apply at Eat’n Park for an Assistant Manager position. He loved the idea that Eat’n Park Restaurants trains their new management for 15 weeks. He thought if a company would devote that much time to train a manager they must have great standards. The offering of one weekend off a month also sweetened the pot.
BJ completed his management training at our restaurant in Weirton, West Virginia. He was then transferred to our restaurant in St. Clairsville, Ohio. His current restaurant is the Eat’n Park in Washington. BJ’s management team would say that, above all, he is extremely passionate about taking care of the guests that visit the restaurant. He also has a great sense of humor – so there is never a full moment on a shift with BJ!
BJ loves Eat’n Park because everyone from the top down is very personable. He gets to speak with the CEO, well like; he was one of the guys. If you do something wrong you’ll know it, but you won’t be treated poorly because of it. It’s not everywhere a CEO will take the time to play an April’s fools joke on you just to keep the atmosphere engaging. Eat’n Park is family owned. You can take care of the right things at the right time.
The hospitality industry is stressful, no doubt about it. But it is also rewarding. You get to work with different people side by side. It is so dynamic there is something different happening every day. BJ’s advice is work on your interpersonal skills because you need superb people skills in the hospitality business. Work with folks and they will work for you.