Behind the Scene at Mintwood Place DC: What Restaurant Managers Want From Their Potential Employees

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC is home to a French cuisine restaurant called Mintwood Place. They say first impressions last forever. Visiting Mintwood Place has left the impression of having high quality cuisine, just by the smell alone.

Neil Blackwood, the general manager of Mintwood Place, agreed to sit down with W.H.A.L.E.R.’s Creation so that we could get a general idea of what restaurant managers or owners will expect from new employees, especially young employees who are seeking a career in the culinary arts field.

Neil Blackwood, the general manager of Mintwood Place, serving the guest
Neil Blackwood, the general manager of Mintwood Place, serving the guest

At Mintwood Place, as well as many other restaurants, there is a specific dress code which requires employees to wear a uniform. Wearing the uniform in anyway other than professional is inappropriate. Since employees are working in the hospitality industry, “It’s all about showcasing that face of all the chefs who are working really hard on what they are doing”, says Blackwood. In other words, just wearing the uniform is not enough. Wearing it respectfully shows how passionate an employee is about their job.

When working in a restaurant, an employees should display a welcoming personality to the customers at all time. “You don’t have to be happy, but you have to show it”, says Blackwood. Managers look for people who have a flexible personality. Meaning, someone who is open to change for not only themselves, but for their fellow coworkers as well. Managers also look for those who are able to leave their personal lives at home.

With any job, conflict will arise. Employees are encouraged to solve work related conflicts amongst themselves in a professional manor. However, there are times when an employee may not be able to solve a problem on their own. If this is the case and it is causing stress for those around them, then employees should walk outside and ask the supervisor or manager for a couple of minutes to calm down by taking a little walk or going to the bathroom.

If allowing yourself time to calm down fails to work, then employees should go to their supervisor and let them know about the problem and, depending on the problem and place, it should be resolved at that moment. If the supervisor cannot solve it, Blackwood suggests that an employee “continue to go up the chain to the general manager or the owner.”

During the employee selection process, managers look for people whose resumes are tailored specifically for the position they are applying for. Resumes should be up to date with the job or volunteer work a person is currently doing.

Having previous work experience is important. Most jobs even say that previous work experience is required. But people cannot gain work experience if restaurants are not hiring them. Thanks to places such as Mintwood Place, employees are able to gain experience as long as they are willing to learn.

Someone who is coming in with no experience will not go straight into the job that was requested. They would have to work their way up from bussing tables or washing dishes. While doing so, they will be able to observe and gain the experience needed for a specific position.

Males are mostly described as having agentic qualities that includes assertion and control, while females are described as having communal qualities which includes being affectionate, helpful, friendly, kind, sympathetic, interpersonally sensitive, gentle, and soft-spoken. Although these two terms are usually assigned to the opposite sex, it is best to have both agentic and communal qualities because these qualities can affect the workplace in a positive way.

Bullying happens just about anywhere. Some people tend to think that bullying in the workplace does not happen because you’re surrounded by supposedly mature adults. Bullying in the workplace is just as important as bullying in schools. Bullying can lead to unfortunate tragedies. At Mintwood Place, and a lot of other places, bullying of any kind is prohibited. If there are cases of bullying, it is dealt with immediately.

Managers typically look for people who can dress professionally, show customers a hospitable personality at all time, take appropriate steps in solving work conflicts, and craft a resume suited for the position. They also look for those who are willing to learn, and who can show agentic and communal qualities. These notes can transfer over into almost any career field, and if done exactly as suggested, employees will have a successful work life.

Mintwood Place

tel 202.234.6732

1813 Columbia Rd. NW, WDC 20009
Mondays CLOSED
Tuesday – Thursday 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Sunday 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday Brunch 10:30am – 2:30pm


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