Chef Jesse Genovese of Whim Hospitality on resetting norms and all the new paths that presented itself. His story honors the creative wanderlust of dishes in the most impressive kitchens in Hawaii, Spain, London and Los Angeles before settling in Austin at Whim.
Instawork’s General Manager of Hospitality, Christian Crynes, speaks with leaders across hospitality to learn how they’re approaching the road ahead. To read others in the series, visit our customers stories.
Chef Jesse took advantage of the pause in business to reset some of the service standards for Whim Hospitality in Austin, where he serves as the Director of Food and Beverage. He earned his chops at the Le Cordon Bleu in London and was the Corporate Executive Chef at Bruce’s Catering in LA. Here he helped produce large scale, high-end events for studios and other affluent clients.
With their main event venue being out in Dripping Springs (about a thirty minute drive outside of Austin), they couldn’t easily pivot into delivery like many others did in the hospitality business.
Instead, they decided to use the breath to look internally. Whim hired a new FOH manager that hailed from the Four Seasons as they re-established all of their service standards. In the kitchen, Chef Jesse and his team reimagined their menus. Of course, they had to run a smaller team, but it challenged them to implement more operational efficiency.
Staffing has always been the biggest challenge for caterers. Whim is getting creative and using Instawork to meet their needs.
- Chef Jesse, Whim Hospitality
Adhering to critical responsibilities
As events begin to resume this quarter, two main challenges loom large. The first is safety. Whim is taking every precaution to make sure events remain as safe as possible. This is enforced by requiring masks at all times and sanitizing on a very regular schedule.
The second challenge is staffing. Staffing has always been the biggest challenge for caterers, and COVID made those challenges even more difficult. There are early signs of attrition in the workforce, so they will continue to get creative and use services like Instawork to meet their needs.
Again, in Austin, events are starting to ramp back up, making the team at Whim busier with multi-wedding weekends in early March. The rest of 2021 projects to be a strong year for Whim and Camp Lucy, and they see the pandemic pause as a hidden blessing to reset the foundation for the future.
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