Maintaining A Strong Team

With the job market more competitive than ever before, making your employees feel heard and appreciated is more important than ever. As At Your Service has grown from a small business to a company with offices in seven different cities, we have prioritized maintaining our family feel. Interested in doing the same? Check out our “how to” tips below:

1.      Get To Know Your Team. Our account managers work hard to learn about our team’s lives outside of work - who is in school and what they are majoring in; who has kids and if so, how old they are; who likes to work where and what their favorite thing to do is. We know that treating our team with the same level of importance that we do our clients can only add to the excitement they bring to each event we staff.

2.      Ask For Their Feedback. Each month, our offices host a Monthly Coffee Talk where managers set aside an hour a month to highlight different clients, teach tricks of the trade, and have one on one time where the team can provide feedback to the company. You never know where the best ideas will be born and we love this opportunity to give our team a chance to see behind the scenes and give us their opinions on the day to day in the field.

3.      Appreciate Them! In addition to our Monthly Coffee Talks, we also do an Annual Staff Appreciation Event that gives our team the chance to be our guests for the night. Staff members get to celebrate their successes in the past year, thank the people that helped teach them in the field, and receive acknowledgement on what they have contributed over the most recent busy season – all while being served by our team!

As companies grow, maintaining a family-like feel is sometimes one of the first things to go by the wayside. But, at the end of the day, even the largest companies are only as strong as the team that works for them – and that is why At Your Service continues to make our team a priority as we continue to grow. If this sounds like the kind of company you want to be a part of, good news – we’re hiring! Join us and let your At Your Service Adventure begin!

Posted on April 18, 2018 .

Meet the Manager: Jennifer Molina, AYS LI

We recently sat down with Jenn from our Long Island office to learn more about what she does when she's not working, how her career has led her to manage our Long Island team and where she sees herself going next! Meet Jenn! 

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1.)    How long have you been working with At Your Service? I have been working with At Your Service for 9 months now.
2.)    What roles have you played in At Your Service? I started in the field originally was a waiter! Then, i became an interviewer helping to hire members of our team. Now, I am the account manager for Long Island! 
3.)    Where did you grow up?  In Long Island - Mastic NY. I did spend the first years of my life in El Savlador though so I know English and Spanish.
4.)    If you had to work in any other industry, which would it be and why?  I’d be a filmmaker or working with Interior Design
5.)    What attracted you to the hospitality industry? I love food! I truly have a passion for it. I also love seeing people happy.
6.)    What’s your favorite part of working with At Your Service? There is such a feeling of home and family. I truly feel connected to everyone.
7.)    What do you do outside of work?  Outside of work I like to work out. Recently, the company had a fitness competition and I even worked out on my birthday! I have played almost every sport. I crave exercise. I also love to travel, go on road trips, and hit the beach.
8.)    Which is your favorite AYS location to visit?  I have only been to DC. I’d love to experience Chicago next, the Windy City. Can’t wait to see the bean. 
9.)    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Florence. I love learning how the culture  began and about the architecture. I really want to try the food -especially the pizza! I have heard it's different. 
10.)    What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of work?  I like to binge watch Gilmore Girls and the Crown! 
11.)    What would be the advice you would give to a new manager at AYS? Come in with an open mind. People are always here to help you.
12.)     What would be the advice you would give to someone new as a field staff member? Go try all the venues you can and get your experience. Everything you do enhances your perspective.

Jenn works with us in Long Island. To work with her and join our team, contact us here.

Posted on March 28, 2018 .

Meet the Captain: Tun Chin Ang, AYS NYC

When you think of meticulous details, high standards and a class of his own, you think of Tun Chin Ang. A captain and waiter in our NYC team, Tun Chin is the type of staff member who makes you think he runs the place after only one shift at each venue. Tun Chin truly enjoys creating new ways of doing this job, leaving his own personal mark on every client and venue he visits. He not only loves to work he also has a true passion for quickly understanding everyone he meets whether it be a guest in the executive dining room or the head chef. Whether it's an exclusive wedding or an important business deal, Tun Chin is the kind of person that can truly make an event go from special to spectacular.  We recently sat down with this star staff member to learn a bit more about him. Check it out below. 

1. How long have you been working with us, Tun Chin? It’s been six years, I came in knowing very little about the catering industry.

2. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Malaysia and still have family there.

3. What attracted you to the hospitality industry?  I really like the personal touch and enjoy interacting with so many different kinds of people. It makes me happy to know something small I do can make a big impact on the event.  It’s pretty special to have the power to make someone feel better just by being you. Also, we have the opportunity to experience so many different venues, at times even getting to go to a different place every day. You really get to experience other people’s lives and learn from each other.

4. What's your favorite part about working for AYS?  AYS is a special family. I really enjoy the people I work with - you create so many great relationships. Also, the flexibility is great. I love to travel and get to travel so much more having a flexible schedule. Unlike some of my friends I never have to take work home with me which makes it a lot more fun.

5. What advice would give you a new member of AYS? I would say you must be willing to learn. No matter how much you knew before there is so much more to learn.  You should be wanting to learn for yourself not just to pick up a paycheck. Recognize the importance of presentation and detail that is what has set me apart. Some clients have even adapted what I have created and made it the standard at their location. That did not come overnight. That came from watching the more senior members of the company seeing how they did things. Noticing that even if it took them 10 times they would not let a guest see the setup unless was truly perfect.

 6. How do you unwind after a long day? After an stressful day, I love to do yoga, travel, and spend time with friends and family.
 

To work with Tun and the other star staff members that make up the AYS team, click HERE.

Posted on March 2, 2018 and filed under Meet the Manager.

Attitude Is Everything

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Here at AYS, "Attitude is Everything." From the first interview, to the 100th event of the season, our team takes pride in the idea that how they interact with our clients and their guests is bigger than anything else we ask them to do. Most staffing companies can provide you someone that can carry a tray and pass food, but can every company send you people that truly want to make an impression on your clients and have you remember their name? 

At AYS, we value (and make note of) someone’s attitude with as much importance as we do their skill. During our hiring process and at our orientation, our team takes the time to observe not only what the potential candidates already know how to do but also their desire to learn more about how we do things as a company for our clients. Although we can train someone to do the technical aspects of this position, we cannot train someone to care for others. The preceding is what we feel truly makes the AYS Difference.

We recently asked a few team members what they liked most about working with us. The common thread in each was that they enjoy knowing they can make a difference; that every time they go to a client is a chance to, in the words of Hamilton, "not throw away my shot."  Our team strives to be remembered by our clients for their smiles, their work ethic and, most of all, for making a true mark on our clients’ guests and our clients themselves!

We can't wait to show you how much we care and how attitude has truly helped us make our mark in the service world. Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test! To partner with AYS on a future event, contact us here. 

-Suzanne Schwartzberg, AYS NYC

Posted on February 13, 2018 .

On The Scene: Washington, DC

Recently, our DC managers sat down to share with us everything from the best places to go in DC to the best things to know before you go on an interview. Check it out below!

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Does your city have a nickname?  The Capital!!!

Best place to grab a bite? We love to step out to District Taco for a quick lunch. Although it’s never that quick because the line is always out the door...but that is just a sign that it is definitely worth the wait!

Best local watering hole? Bar Deco is located right next to the Capital One Arena so you get the feel of being a part of the excitement without paying the big price! Their rooftop is the best place to grab a drink after a long day at work!

Favorite local charity to support/volunteer at?  This year for our Day of Service, we decided to serve lunch at S.O.M.E. and it was such a fun and wonderful experience. We plan on making it a more regular thing!

Favorite sports team? REDSKINS!!!!!

Best resume pro-tip? Always double check spelling and punctuation! That is such a big pet peeve of ours and can really make an impact in a good OR bad way.

Best interview questions you’ve ever been asked? 

Casey: One of the most unexpected questions I’ve ever been asked is what song I would choose to represent myself. That surprised me and made me think out of the box.

Myriam: “Tell me about a time you screwed up.” This question allows you to show how you turned a mistake into a positive situation.

Best advice for an interviewee? Always research information about the company so you know a little bit about the position prior to going in to your interview.

To work with our DC team, contact us here.

Posted on January 12, 2018 .

Meet the Team Member: Maria Rios, AYS NYC & LI

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When you think hard working and dedicated, you think Maria Rios. A member of both our NYC and LI teams, Maria Rios is the type of staff member who would commute into Manhattan only to commute out of Manhattan if it meant helping out a client in need. Maria is a manager's dream. She not only loves to work, but she brings a passion for hospitality and commitment to good service that few have ever seen before. Whether it's working in the city or out on Long Island, when Maria is at an event we just know it is going to be a success! We recently sat down with this star staff member to learn a bit more about her. Check it out below. 

1. How long have you been working with us, Maria? It's already been two years! My how time flies!

2. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

3. What attracted you to the hospitality industry? Someone once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done." That’s exactly the feeling I get when I am at work. What I love about hospitality is the adrenaline. The passion. The interactions. I LOVE what I’m doing. The feeling I get every morning when I start working, not knowing what will be happen that day, and at the end of the day, the satisfaction of the work done. It's priceless.

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4. What's your favorite part about working for AYS? I get to meet so many fascinating people, from the clients and the managers to our staff and the staff at the locations we are going to. A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to worked with some survivors from 9/11. They were people just like us, working in catering on those buildings. After I heard them, I could not have felt more blessed to been working with them. Their stories are simply AMAZING. Also, just working for AYS in general - it's the first time in 13 years in this business where I've feel part of something. Working for AYS is knowing someone cares.

5. How do you unwind after a long day? After an stressful day, I love to just chill with my dogs (pictured above). In the summer, I pick them up and take them for long walks at the beach. And of course, a great Malbec after a long day always help! Ha! 

To work with Maria and the other star staff members that make up the AYS team, click here.

Posted on November 17, 2017 .

Meet the Managers: Monica and Sue, AYS NYC

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Monica and Sue are the two newest managers to join our Time Square office! We recently interviewed them for our 'Meet the Manager' segment on our blog! Check it out below:

1.)  How long have you been working with At Your Service?  Sue and Monica: We've both been here about a month now! 

2.)  Where did you grow up?  Sue: Rockland County, NY Monica: Phillipines

3.)  What’s your Alma Mater?   Sue: Binghamton University. Monica: University of St. La Salle.

4.)  If you had to work in any other industry, which would it be and why?  Sue: Tourism- I love people and the travel industry as a whole. That or I'd be a writer - as I love words and being able to express my point of view. Monica: Healthcare as it is my background of education. I have a lot of experience in the healthcare industry. I started from the bottom of the work chain and made my way up. I have an in-depth understanding with how the system works.

5.)  What attracted you to the hospitality industry?   Sue: The great interactions! Also, knowing I could make a big difference in someone's day and that they would remember me. Monica: The passion I have working with people, the connection, the satisfaction of working together, and making it easier for everyone to co-exist in society.

6.)  What’s your favorite part of working with At Your Service?  Sue: Getting to know the staff and feeling I'm part of something bigger than myself. Monica: The people I work with in the office, and inter-office co-workers! Also, the clients together with staff members. When the event is successful, both clients and staff members are happy – it inspires me to be better both personally and professionally. 

7. )  What do you do outside of work?  Sue: Explore NYC, try to capture that perfect camera shot, spend time with friends and family. Monica: Having a great time with my friends, eating good comfort food, and just enjoying everything around me. Making the most out of what’s in front of me! 

8.)  Which is your favorite AYS location to visit?  Sue: I haven't been to any but would love to see what our new Chicago office is like! Monica: BOSTON! I love the Pats! 

9.)  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Sue: Eastern Europe, esp. Austria and Prague. I love exploring European cities! I am Austrian in my heritage and have been told by many people I should experience Prague. Monica: Maldives - the beach is a place close to heaven I believe.

10.)  What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of work?  Sue: Checking out some of the great food found in many of the Queens neighborhoods and taking a long walk. Monica: Have a drink! (Haha!) Sorry, but it’s true. A wine a day keeps the doctor away. (Just Kidding!)

Posted on October 20, 2017 .

What's Important to Know When It Comes to Hiring a Hospitality Staffing Agency?

The decision to use a hospitality staffing company to fulfill front of house service needs is not one to be taken lightly.  When doing so, you need to feel confident that the staffing agency you partner with will provide you with the same caliber of staff that you typically hire yourself.  But, how do you do this?  Well, you need to be sure you’re asking the following questions:

  1. How do they hire their own staff? If the agency doesn't take their time to vet their employees then you can't be confident they are sending you a quality team. At AYS, we recruit from popular job search websites, college campuses, and the surrounding community. Our managers and trained office staff personally determine whether applicants are worth investing in by interviewing each and every potential new hire in person.
  2. Do they provide training for their staff? If your partner just sends untrained staff out to your events, then your client will surely be able to tell that you brought it outside help. That's why here at AYS, we conduct a four hour course before placing new staff on work. This course is led by seasoned team leaders and captains who weed out staff based on their characteristics such as catering ability, knowledge, attitude, and presentation.
  3. Do they provide uniforms? Hospitality staff need to know where to get a uniform if they need one or else they'll show up to your event unprepared! AYS will loan out standard uniform pieces and require all staff to get their uniforms approved and go to our clients prepared and dressed appropriately according to their standards.
  4. Can you reach them after hours and on weekends? Hospitality is not a 9 to 5 industry so your staffing partner can't be either. Here at AYS we recognize that in the hospitality industry changes can happen at the eleventh hour - that is why we always have a manager on call during weeknights, weekends, and holidays. We want to make sure that there will be a point of contact between our staff and our clients at all times.
  5.  How do they choose staff for events? If you provide feedback on temporary staff then that feedback should be taken seriously - if it's not then what's the point? AYS uses our in-house software to track staff and take note of their performance, strengths, and weaknesses. We use this to carefully book service staff we think would be the best fit for our clients’ needs.

At Your Service Staffing can provide bartenders, waiters, captains, coat check staff and unparalleled service for exclusive catered events. CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN MORE!

Posted on August 11, 2017 .

Our Rising Star

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The Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM) has named our very own Casey McGinnis as a Rising Star!  Like At Your Service Staffing, SHFM recognizes the important role young professionals play in ensuring the continued success of the corporate foodservice and hospitality industries. The SHFM Rising Stars Program has been established to recognize rising stars at foodservice and hospitality companies.

Casey has excelled as a Client Relations and Staffing Account Manager for our DC office since joining our team last year.  Described by her co-workers as hard working, dedicated and a great teammate, it comes as no surprise to us that she has been recognized as a Rising Star for SHFM.

We are so proud of this recognition! Congratulations Casey! 

Posted on August 2, 2017 .

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 .