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Christoff J. Weihman

I have worked in the hotel & restaurant industry on & off since I was 15 years old at Koolie’s in Ottawa, Illinois. The owner Kyraikous Vavaroutsos, “Koolie” was a lively Greek who was always shouting. I started off in the back of the house-washing dishes, making biscuits & mixing coleslaw by hand in 10 gallon buckets. I then moved on to be a waiter to work the drive-thru at The Silverfross Restaurant & Drive-in. The owner, Paul McGann only hired high school students who participated in extra-curricular activities. He believed it builds character. I also worked the drive-thru, always joking with the customers in an attempt to make them smile & to brighten their day. At 19 I went oversees to the Philippines to work for a volunteer Christian mission organization for 10 years. I could say I was away from the service industry during that period of time but in reality what is ministry, if not service? Jesus even said “He that is great in my kingdom is the Servant of all.” So ministry is service. And vice versa. Servers who do a great job actually are ministering happiness to their customers. After the Philippines, I took the slow route back to the U.S., spending 3 years in Guam & Saipan. I worked for Hotel Nikko & the Hyatt. I used my language skills to learn Japanese-enough to become functionally literate in a hotel & restaurant setting. Working for Nikko & Hyatt elevated my understanding of great service. I began to adapt those standards in my own daily service. Next I moved to LA & worked for Wolfgang Puck’s Catering & Events in Hollywood. While with Wolfgang, I continued to learn & appreciate excellent service is. I was a butler (server) for 3 ½ years, working a variety of events from movie premiers & celebrity weddings to the Governor’s Ball-the gala dinner for the Academy Awards. I spent another 3 years at various restaurants in St. Louis. I have a passion for excellence in Service & Hospitality. I've served-as a server, bartender, wine sales rep, catering sales manager, event planner & banquet service manager. Regardless of the type of restaurant, Excellent Service must always be the goal. “You can have the most beautiful décor; relaxing, wonderful ambience; creative, inspired food with the freshest ingredients prepared by an amazing, James Beard Award winning chef but if the Service & Hospitality is not on point & given equal focus & attention, then that establishment will not succeed. The servers are the unsung heroes of this business.”