Welcome to “GYH FAM,” a monthly conversation with one of our team members about their work, their interests outside of work, and tons of deep thoughts…..or sometimes not so deep thoughts.
This month we sat down with Expeditor, Justin Watts. He has been working with the company for almost 2 years and has demonstrated leadership skills and moved his way up in the ranks from food runner to lead food runner to expo. Justin is an integral team member of the GYH family, both in the front and back of house.
What made you want to become a team member of GYH?
I needed a job, Chris is a friend of mine so he was able to help me out. I’ve never worked in this type of restaurant, it was something new and I wanted to give it a try.
What do you think of GYH? How does GYH set itself apart from other restaurants?
You’ve got to surround yourself with people you can be inspired by and look up to as mentors. That used to not be important to me but as I’ve grown this is something that’s become important to me. There are lots of members of the team here that motivate and embolden me. I don’t think I’ve had that anywhere else I’ve worked.
Restaurants and service industry jobs usually have a high turnover rate. What has caused you to stay on as a team member for so long?
Mainly the environment and the people, I really love NoDa. This restaurant is doing a lot of good in the community and I want to see what happens and how the company grows. I’ve known Chris a long time and I see where his vision is going and I want to be a part of that. I want to grow with the company and help more with their non-profit, Goodyear Giving.
What is your favorite thing about being a team member at GYH?
They are very flexible with scheduling. They really listen to their employees and are accommodating. I like the atmosphere; we are family.
Everyone is so different. The money is good, as you know the job market is insane right now, anyone can work anywhere these days. The team members in the BOH give a different atmosphere, it’s more inviting than other restaurant’s BOH’s that I know of.
It’s cool, the staff are more laid back, we treat each other like family. Everyone is kind to one another but we joke around and push each other’s buttons like a family member would. We can voice our options honestly, without people getting upset and we handle our business.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Girl, that’s personal, LOL! But really, I have two dogs that I hang out with. Only having two days off you only have so much time. I like to hang out at home, work out, and spend time with a few select friends.
Tell me about family values and how that applies to life at GYH?
We are very polite to our guests. You can tell GYH has a different kind of vibe. I think our guests see our vibe, the way we are with one another, joking around with one another but also still being professional and getting the job done. I think that’s why we have so many regulars and return guests. Customers pick up on that. They also joke around with us, they want to be a part of the family too. The GYH family.
How have you grown professionally and personally during your time here? How has GYH changed you?
It’s definitely changed me. I’ve learned the value of a dollar and become so much more responsible. Professionally, I think it has helped me realize how much it takes to work in a restaurant. It’s really hard work and I don’t think people realize how hard it is, how demanding. You have to adapt to be in this environment. There are so many different aspects of a restaurant that I didn’t know. You have to grow with the restaurant. If you aren’t building, making money or have goals for yourself, I don’t think you should be working here. You should be ambitious.
What are your goals for GYH and your goals for outside of the restaurant?
I want to know how the restaurant industry works. Eventually I want something of mine. Not sure what that looks like right now but I know I want to be here. I really like the environment that the service industry has. I love the vibe, and meeting all the people who work in service. You see the realness and the rawness of different things. I want to learn and soak up everything, once I’m there I’ll execute what I want next.
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