The Chef de Partie – Operations Director
So, where do I begin? I must admit, when my calendar notification went off, notifying me that I needed to complete a Fliptable blog, I got anxious. I spent the last month shining a light on my phenomenal team members. After all, there’s no “I” in team, unless you want to get technical through typographical manipulation. Anyway, when it came time for me to share my involvement, I had to break down my desire to remain the chameleon human drone for the team, overlooking everything, and keeping it all running like a well-oiled machine. Instead, here I am, smack-dab in the middle of the limelight. Where do I start? Hi. My name is Courtney. I like coffee, intellectual curiosity, all things business, delicious food, and travel. I am the Chef de Partie of Fliptable and I’m lovin’ it. (badabababa).
Reading tidbit: Chef de Partie is used interchangeably with the Director of Operations at Fliptable.
Where Does the Title Chef de Partie Come From?
In the restaurant industry, the chef de partie is known as the “line cook” in charge of a certain area of production. In terms of kitchen hierarchy, the individual hustles to take a bit of weight off of the executive chef. When developing the Fliptable app, as a team, we wanted to align our brand with the industry we were wanting to attract, which is the restaurant industry. It only made sense then to think of each member of the team as an imperative member one might run into while working at a restaurant. Hence why with each of these blogs, I have both spoke for the team’s involvement and their individual theoretical position within the restaurant industry. Plus, it helps to put things into perspective.
What Inspired me to Join the Fliptable Team?
Aside from being motivated by an entrepreneurial challenge, I am connected to the Fliptable business model on a deeper level, biological in fashion. The CEO is my identical twin sister. That isn’t however what led me to the table. I have always had a knack for business and improving processes. Having worked in hospitality during my “younger” years, I already had a good idea of the problems we needed to solve. I joined the table because I saw this as an opportunity to help a large industry and learn more about the restaurant community. So far, I have been completely blown away by how connected and truly remarkable this industry is. And yes, it goes without saying, having the ability to build a product and launch it into the market surpasses all of the lemonade stands and car washes we ever started up as tikes. Hey, we all start somewhere, right? When life gave me lemons, I made lemonade.
What’s My Favorite Aspect of my Role at Fliptable?
Everything. Mainly the freedom. When you enjoy what you do, it shows. My favorite part about having the role of Chef de Partie at Fliptable is the autonomy it gives me. I am on a team that gives me a safe place to take the reigns. Yeeha! We have created a circle of trust and that is by far the greatest component to building upon our cumulative success. Yes, there are risks along with trial and error, and we may not all agree, but there’s also a big learning piece. I was able to dive right in, using what I learned from my previous experiences and positions. My creativity was accepted by the majority and as it turns out, I’m quite valuable (I’m learning this limelight thing, so bare with me).
There’s a certain Thrill to the Startup Environment
Moreover, startup life has its way of testing you. There are days when you don’t always like what people have to say, (myself included). There are moments where you doubt. I think what truly sets a true entrepreneur apart from wannabes is the ability to continue when things look grim. This pandemic is one of those grim moments. How easy would it have been to jump ship after many restaurants closed their doors? These restaurants are the very center of our business model. Instead of using this extreme health concern as an excuse to walk away, I, along with our team used it as a means to fuel our entrepreneurial fire. Not to mention, the increased need for our product because of the pandemic. Bon “app” etit!
Fliptable has the ability to give back to a significant portion of our economy. To help an industry that contributes 10% of the overall employment in the U.S. That alone is enough to make any entrepreneur excited. Here, we have this incredible opportunity to rise above the pandemic stronger than ever. Before COVID-19, the prospect of the business model was alluring. The pandemic has shown us the strength of the restaurant industry. Additionally, it has also shown us the need for restaurants to find quality help and for restaurateurs to find a job faster. Fliptable is not only the faster, easier, and fun way to post and find a job in the restaurant industry, but it’s also the first mobile app that places an emphasis on connecting with our network and users on a level that every other job board fails to do. The restaurant space is the perfect industry to transform the world because it touches a lot of people.
What are my Interests Outside of Fliptable?
That’s a heavy question. I have a lot of interest in a great many things. I’ve worked in Ivy Leagues, non-profits, for-profits, and Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. After hours, you’ll find me fine-tuning a few side ventures that support my entrepreneurial mindset. I am constantly absorbing new content to help me do my job/s (passion) better and to become just an all-around better person so that I can be the best team member, friend, sister, partner, etc. I write blogs, read, run, dance, sing, ski, fish, brew, build, coach, and travel. Anything to escape the reality of life sometimes is always nice, which is why I make it a habit to get on the water outside in the summer and on the mountain in the winter. Don’t let the previously mentioned intimidate you. In High-School, I was a waitress at a local Greek pizzeria. I flipped pizza pies, bussed tables, and served my fair share of Baklava. See, here’s where I would say, “enough about me, let’s talk about you.”
If I Could Incorporate the Best Possible Feature for Fliptable, What Would it Be?
A user-centric feature that utilizes both UI and AI for ease and instant value. The more connected the better. The more humanistic the better. It’s one thing to create just another job board, and it’s another to create a connection that goes beyond showing interest, applying for a job or filing through resumes. The key is creating an aesthetically pleasing platform that will solve the pain points of hiring and finding a job in the restaurant industry. That’s what Fliptable needs to keep in mind at all times. We need to take the data that we are given and all of the free information out there and leverage it. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we just need a shiny and strong unique value proposition.
What’s Your Vision for Fliptable?
My vision for Fliptable is simple: to be a solid mission and purpose-driven company that our users and market label the go-to mobile app for all restaurant hiring and job seeking now and for years to come. Also, I envision retaining a hungry, humble, and smart team that knows the hustle and endurance required to withstand the long nights and an infinite number of zoom calls to see this through and through.
Do You Have a Favorite Childhood Restaurant Memory?
Looking back, I would have to say one of my favorite memories involves a trip to Disney World. Any young kid, heck, even adult, knows that Disney World is full of amazing theme parks, entertainment around every corner, and good food. We were at Epcot (our favorite park) when it was time to choose what restaurant we all wanted to go to. 4 hungry kids + 2 tired adults = heads spinning. We ended up choosing the Coral Reef Restaurant. At that age, we just couldn’t believe that there was this restaurant where you could eat and watch sharks and stingrays swim around you. Winner, winner, shark-fin dinner.
We sat down and when it came time to order, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for each of us kids to order a side of extra Ranch dressing with whatever it was we ordered. #noshame. We gazed at the gigantic tank before us in awe. Shortly thereafter, our meals came out. Young, naïve, and hungry, here comes the funny part. Because of our love for Ranch dressing and being in a new setting, we didn’t realize the new look of the condiments on our plates. And, as young and naïve children would do, we assumed. So, my older brother dived right in! Champ. Seconds later, his face turns beet red, his eyes begin to water, and if he was going to cry, boy, he was soldiering through so we wouldn’t know it. Turns out, Wasabi is NOT the new Ranch dressing, and when in doubt, always allow others to begin eating before you…..(Sorry bro).
My time at Disney was both flavorful and fun. I still ask for extra Ranch dressing on the side, but now, I can’t help but laugh every time I do. Definitely one of my favorite comical restaurant memories.
What Position Would You Hold if You Had to Work in the Industry?
Courtney’s Café Around the Corner
I’ve always wanted to own and operate my own café. Biased to Boston, I remember waking up, throwing on some walking shoes, and organically stumbling upon a café. The neat parks, taxi horns, and looks on people’s faces that said, “I have somewhere I need to be.” For me, there was a need for adventure to find something to fulfill my hunger and the desire to always feel “at home.” The Paramount, Beacon Hill always comes to mind. You always know it’s a craze when you have to wait an hour in line. Watching as the chefs whipped up fluffy pancakes and anticipated my next footstep closer to the front of the line.
I really like the idea of creating a comfortable place where people can come and enjoy their favorite savory baked goods and the warmest cup of coffee in town. Seeing familiar or new faces each day. I don’t mean to sound cliché, but I envision the Hallmark type of café. Without a doubt, I would hold the position of owner/operator and step into whatever role needed at any given time. After all, isn’t that what being a leader is all about? Stepping up and stepping in when needed? Whether that’s throwing on an apron to cook or to clean.
Any Closing Remarks?
Yes. I’m the Chef de Partie at Fliptable, this is only the beginning. I’m excited to see where this all leads and how much this will positively impact the restaurant industry. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it takes dedication, taking the good and the bad, and keeping the customer in mind; always. The market will tell you what it wants, you just have to listen. For every young entrepreneur out there, don’t give up. You have an idea, it’s not crazy. In the right hands and minds, anything is possible.
Coming Down the Pike
Next week, I’m giving up the limelight and placing it on Fliptables She-E-O. Don’t miss your chance to learn more about how this idea came to life. Our She-E-O has plenty to say, trust me. (Smile).
Subscribe to our newsletter!