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Leah Neumann was recently hired as the catering and delivery director for FIG & OLIVE, a restaurant with eight locations across the country. Neumann is working to expand the brand’s catering opportunities in California.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as catering and delivery director for Fig & Olive?
I am most looking forward to bringing the FIG & OLIVE experience to our guests. I love bringing FIG & OLIVE to office meetings and baby showers, allowing our guests to enjoy the experience away from the restaurant.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?
Three years ago, I launched the FIG & OLIVE delivery and catering department in New York City. I obtained and maintained a long list of regular clients and oversaw everything from staffing to food prep, and equipment rentals to sales outreach. Before I oversaw the delivery and catering department, I was the assistant general manager of FIG & OLIVE in the Meatpacking District of New York City. That role allowed me to continue developing my skills in guest service and team leadership. These qualities are key for launching a successful department.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the restaurant for this year and farther down the line?
I would love for FIG & OLIVE to be the go-to caterer for local business’ working lunches and dinners and cocktail receptions. I also would love for our guests to think of us to cater their most important occasions like baby showers, bridal showers, weddings and holiday parties. It is always such an honor to be invited into someone's life for these intimate occasions.
4. How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I grew up in the hospitality industry. My parents owned bars and restaurants in Indianapolis and Bloomington, Ind. I've done everything from being a line cook, to working as a hostess, bartending and managing. My experience in all of these roles provided me with more insight into how to manage a highly successful team environment.
5. What do you enjoy most about Fig & Olive?
I enjoy the FIG & OLIVE culture. In the five years I have been with the company, I have seen it grow from three restaurants in New York City, to eight restaurants across the country. Throughout the growth, we have maintained not only our standards, but also the culture and history of FIG & OLIVE. The French Riviera plays a very important role in many of the recipes, but it is deeper than that—some of our signature dishes come from recipes that the founder’s mother would make; it's very personal.