SHFM Critical Issues

The hospitality industry does not slow down or stop but it is important to take time connect with our colleagues and discuss current topics in our industry.

On Tuesday April 25th, myself and two members of the AYS Account Manager Team- Jennifer Baker and Irmak Hatiboglu attended the SHFM 15th annual Critical Issues conference hosted by Credit Suisse.

The newly renovated Credit Suisse was an amazing location for this event and the team there exemplified hospitality.  There were three panels throughout the day, all very educational and informative. 

However, what really struck a chord with us was when one of the panelists during the Food and Dining Styles presentation mentioned that we can have brand new cafeterias, have a focus on Wellness in the workplace and essentially have the best of everything but if it is not driven with hospitality or if hospitality is not at the core of it all, the best of the best is all for naught.

Hospitality 360 was such a fitting title for this SHFM Critical Issues Conference.  We look forward to the 16th Annual Conference!

-Jeanine Cosgrove-Albert, Vice President

Posted on May 3, 2017 .

Client Spotlight: Notre Dame of MD

Our Baltimore based management team recently sat down with our client, Dana, at Notre Dame to learn a bit more about what things are like on the other side of the industry and why she likes working with AYS! That conversation is shared below.

How did you get into the hospitality industry?  I have always enjoyed cooking and being around food since I was young.  When I was in college, I saw an opportunity for a marketing internship with a catering company.  It sounded like my dream job!  I applied, got the position, and have continued to work in hospitality industry for five years now.

What do you find most rewarding about the industry?  Hearing about a guests experience is the most rewarding aspect for me.  I enjoy hearing what we did well, and what we can improve on next time.  The best part is being able to go back to my team and share the positive feedback with them. 

What is the most important attribute you look for when hiring staff?  The most important attribute I look for when hiring staff is an upbeat and positive attitude.  At SAGE, we tell our staff that a smile is part of their uniform.  There are times when our job gets stressful, and having staff who stay positive and upbeat is key to an events success. 

What is your favorite part about working with AYS?  My favorite part about working with AYS is always knowing what to expect.  AYS provides quality, hard working and reliable staff for each and every event.  Many of their servers have grown to feel like part of our team here at NDMU. We are very grateful for them!

To work with the same Baltimore based team that Dana does, click here. 

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

Meet the Manager: MacKenzie Collins, AYS NYC

1.)  How long have you been working with At Your Service? I started with AYS in November 2016! 

2.)  Where did you grow up? I grew up in Rhode Island.

3.)  What’s your Alma Mater? I went to DePaul University!

4.)  If you had to work in any other industry, which would it be and why? I would be a judge on any/all food competitions on the Food Network.  I love cooking and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with food.  Any job/industry where I would get paid to enjoy food is the end all be all for me.  Dream big, I know.

5.)  What attracted you to the hospitality industry? I really enjoy working with people and the notion that every day brings something different.

6.)  What’s your favorite part of working with At Your Service? The people. Since I started, I have been welcomed by our team with open arms.  It truly feels like one big family.  I could not ask for better coworkers!

7. )  What do you do outside of work? I have been planning to join a gym for the past 3 years, but until then, I enjoy the occasional (daily) glass(es) of wine and spending time with friends and family.

8.)  Which is your favorite AYS location to visit? I have not yet had the chance to visit any of our other locations, but would love to go to DC.

9.)  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Greece.  I have always wanted to go and I recently found out I am half Greek, so it seems right.

10.)  What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of work?   I like to head home and de-stress by cooking a nice meal while listening to Etta James Pandora.  If not, dinner with friends or family is always a nice treat.

To work with MacKenzie and the NYC team, contact us here.

Posted on April 3, 2017 .

Our Day Of Service With Habitat for Humanity

The At Your Service Long Island office recently volunteered at Habitat for Humanity Suffolk County as part of the At Your Service Day of Service series. Our team was honored to help build a one story house in Ronkonkoma. We had a lot of fun - and we learned a lot too.

Before we suited up, we got to learn a little about the Habitat program from our coordinator, Chris. Habitat has the home recipients participate in a series of classes on finance and basic home repair prior to moving into the home.  Recipients work for 300 hours on the home they will be receiving - they call this sweat equity.  The program establishes a foundation so the recipients of a Habitat home can successfully maintain and stay in that home.

Through partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, Habitat for Humanity gives housing for AmeriCorps volunteers, individuals who serve full time to volunteer at Habitat or affiliates and gain scholarship money to use to further their education at the end of their term. We got the chance to work with 2 individuals from AmeriCorps, (they were in charge of making sure we didn’t get hurt in the process!) and despite the cold, we had a great time and really felt like we were making a difference in the community.

The house itself is going to a Huntington School district security guard, Youlanda Carey. Huntington High School’s Habitat for Humanity Club raised $20,000 to support the Habitat efforts and came out to volunteer at least once a week to work on the house that Ms. Carey will be receiving.

This day really encouraged us and made us feel like we were making a difference for this home for a very deserving person. The project is running into the summer so we are hoping to make it back there! (Once the weather gets warmer!)

Thanks to Habitat for having us!!

Posted on March 9, 2017 .

AYS Behind the Scenes: In Boston with Karen

AYS Behind the Scenes is a new blog series focused on getting the inside scoop on our office cities right from our management team. We have Karen Cavanaugh, our Operations Manager, fill us in on Boston for the inaugural post. 

Karen (left) with her husband, Jimmy.

Karen (left) with her husband, Jimmy.

Does your city have a nickname? Tourists call it Beantown, but I don’t know anyone from Boston that calls it that! When someone says they’re going to “the city” or “into town” in Massachusetts, you just KNOW where they’re headed – it’s all the nickname they need.

Best place to grab a bite? For brunch, I love Met Back Bay – so, so good! For a late night bite, my friends and I used to go to NY Pizza on Columbus – better than any pizza I’ve ever had in New York City!

Best local watering hole? JJ Foley’s in the South End for sure. But go to the ATM first, as it’s cash only. Oh and if you go, tell Jerry I said hello!

Favorite local charity to support/volunteer at? We love going to Cradles to Crayons – it’s a charity that provides kids age 12 and under living in low-income situations with items deemed essential for them at home, at school and at play.

Favorite sports team? TOM BRADY IS THE BEST EVAH! No, but really – love the Pats! The Sunday ritual of going to my parents’ house for the game is SO NEW ENGLAND – but so am I!

Best resume pro-tip? Try to focus in on the more recent positions in your career – no one needs to read about what you did your junior year of high school.

Best interview questions you’ve ever been asked? I once was asked what I was going to do if I didn’t get the job. That one threw me for a loop.

Best advice for an interviewee? Be professional BUT be yourself! Your interviewer is going to want to leave the interview knowing more about who you are as a person than why you chose the major you did in college. It’s important to dress and act the part, but make sure you’re doing so in a way that’s still authentic to you. Being genuine goes a long way in the real world.

Posted on February 20, 2017 .

Client Spotlight: Gourmet Caterers

Gourmet Caterers is a renowned Boston-based catering company and one of our incredible clients.  We recently got the chance to ask Karen Denaples, Gourmet Caterers’ Staffing Manager, some questions about how she got started and why she chooses AYS for her temporary staffing needs.

How did you get into the hospitality industry?  I started as a way to earn extra money.  My daughter was 8 months old and I needed to be with adults.  What better way to do both!

What do you find most rewarding about the industry?  I always liked working an event from start to finish, knowing that the client was truly happy.

What is the most important attribute you look for when hiring staff?  I think knowledge is a good thing but a willingness to learn is needed more than that.  Anyone can be trained if they want to be.

What is your favorite part about working with AYS?  The office staff for sure.  I am confident they know what I am looking for and the quality of staff I need. 

To work with the same Boston based team as Karen, contact us here. 

Posted on February 13, 2017 .

New OSHA Requirements: How Temporary Agencies May Be Affected

The Federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proudly states their goal is “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions.” Consequently, OSHA regulations apply to every kind of employer, including temporary staffing agencies - our very own Myriam Fuentes explores these regulations below.

Temporary staffing agencies generally do not supervise employees on a day to day basis when they are out at events and, therefore, have limited control over the work environment that staff members are placed in. OSHA regulation stipulates that whomever supervises an employee directly is responsible for keeping record of all injuries and illnesses. In most cases, this means that the host employer is responsible for recording and documenting an employee’s workplace injury.

However, this does not mean that, as a temporary staffing agency, we are free of all burden. OSHA guidelines state that we are responsible for the following:

  1. To maintain frequent communication with our workers and host employers to ensure that all injuries and illnesses are properly reported and recorded.
  2. To use the information we do receive to identify the hazards that our workers are facing while on the job. 
  3. To inform our client (the host employer) immediately if we learn about an injury or illness in order to prevent future injuries.  
  4. To inform our employees about their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

So, although we are not responsible for the annual reporting that OSHA requires from employers, we remain responsible for ensuring that they are working in a safe and healthy environment. For more information, please visit https://www.osha.gov/workers/index.html.

 

Posted on January 24, 2017 .

Meet the Manager: Jenna Birkmire, Payroll

Meet Jenna Birkmire! Jenna joined the AYS Payroll Team in September 2016 as a Payroll Specialist. She currently manages Payroll for AYS DC, AYS MD and AYS LI from our headquarters in Sayville, NY. Meet her here!

1.)  How long have you been working with At Your Service? I started on the Tuesday after Labor Day so about 3 months now!

2.)  Where did you grow up? I grew up in Shoreham which is eastern Long Island. 

3.)  What’s your Alma Mater? I graduated from St. Joseph's College.

4.)  If you had to work in any other industry, which would it be and why? I'm super into yoga and the fitness industry, I think that'd be a cool type of industry to work in! 

5.)  What attracted you to the hospitality industry? I was a waitress for years throughout high school and college. I loved it, which not many people can say. This is kinda different but it's still serving people. I like working in an industry where that is the main point. 

6.)  What’s your favorite part of working with At Your Service? I love the people and the environment is very low key. It's super busy always and I like being kept on my toes

7. )  What do you do outside of work? I love the beach, boating, yoga as I said before, hiking and catching up with friends! 

8.)  Which is your favorite AYS location to visit? I've only been to Boston, but I love visiting new places so I'm looking forward to visiting different offices. 

9.)  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I'd love to visit Fuji. The water is awesome, waves are good and the weather is beautiful! 

10.)  What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of work? I try to get to yoga most days after work which helps me unwind....and wine with friends is always a good option.

Posted on December 8, 2016 .

Event Feature: Battle of the Burgers, Boston Magazine

The idea of tasting 25 burgers and washing it all down with a cold beer or cocktail is daunting, but someone has to do it, right? Luckily for us, Boston Magazine made the process absolutely painless with their Battle of the Burgers event.

Last night, At Your Service's talented crew manned the bars at this tasty challenge.  We sent 28 of our best bartenders to pour beer, pop bottles, and craft cocktails. The annual event has quickly become a staff favorite, and our staff's fun-loving attitude brought a little more flavor to an already exciting evening. Donna Rose calls the Battle of the Burgers "the most fun event we do all year." So cheers to one more year of burgers and success at AYS!

-Alexa Gallishaw, AYS Boston

Posted on August 11, 2016 .