Want To Be a Restaurant GM? Bus That Table Over There

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AndyVaughn

I like hearing stories like this.

Emeril’s Orlando and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, the two local restaurants owned by a celebrity chef whose name escapes me at the moment, has announced some recent top personnel changes. Not only were the positions filled through internal promotions, but a couple of the people named as general manager started with the organization busing tables.

Andy Vaughn (pictured above) has been named the general manager of Emeril’s Orlando at Universal’s CityWalk; Eddie Raguso is the new gm at Tchoup Chop in the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal; and Douglas Braselman has been appointed chef de cuisine at the CityWalk restaurant.

Both Vaughn and Raguso began their careers busing tables, Raguso in 2000 and Vaughn in 2002. Vaughn worked his way up through the serving ranks and eventually joined the management team. He took a special interest in wine and was named sommelier for for Emeril’s Orlando in 2008, and anyone familiar with Emeril’s wine list knows that is no easy task. He has been serving as the gm at Tchoup Chop since 2013.

Raguso also worked his way up as a server and eventually manager at Emeril’s Atlanta. He returned to Orlando in 2004 as a floor manager at Tchoup Chop and then as a manager at Emeril’s Orlando.

Braselman is a native of New Orleans, which is home base for the Emeril’s empire. He has worked with a number of that city’s well known chefs, including Susan Spicer, Greg Collier, and James Wong before joining David Slater at the flagship Emeril’s in the Warehouse District.

In a statement, Emeril’s Homebase president Eric Linquest said, “Whenever we have the opportunity, the Emeril’s organization always looks to promote talented individuals within the family, already familiar with the Emeril’s culture.”

That’s something I wish more busers, waiters and even dishwashers would keep in mind. We tend to look on those jobs as menial. They should be seen as stepping stones to a satisfying career.

Congratulations to the new hires, and to Emeril’s for rewarding loyalty.

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