It is time to get to know the heart and soul behind every restaurant experience, the server. Here’s our Q&A with Shaniya Abrams of Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom.
How long have you been at Raduno?
I have been at Raduno for four years now.
What is it about the restaurant that makes it so enjoyable to work at?
It’s the familiarity! Not because it means I don’t have to work as hard, but the more I know about my job, the more enjoyable it is. Just being familiar with the people, I have regulars I know exactly what they want and how they want it. Being familiar with the food, which makes me more knowledgeable and gives me the ability to answer almost any and every question. Being familiar with everyone I work with, which gives us a better flow and makes us overall a better team. This means a better experience for everyone. And that’s the goal! Besides, you can’t spell familiar without “fam!”
What are your favorite shoes to wear while working?
Whatever is comfy, all black, and keeping me from slipping, sliding and falling.
Beyond leaving a great tip, what is something specific a diner can do to help make your day?
Being patient and being kind immediately makes my day better, especially whilst working so up close and personal in a pandemic.
What would you say is the most difficult aspect about the job?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint a difficult aspect of my job. I feel like adaptation is just a part of this industry. Any situation that seems difficult, I take as a challenge and turn a negative into a positive.
It’s Friday night and the restaurant just closed. Are you going out to party or heading home to rest?
I no longer work Friday nights but when I did, going out and decompressing with a cocktail or two is a must.
Let’s say a customer has a million different modifications to a dish. Typically speaking, when this happens, is it easy to keep your cool?
“Patience is a virtue.” So, it’s no biggie to me! My focus is just to be sure I get it right.
When taking an order, do you always write it down or memorize it?
I have a pretty solid memory. It’s very rare that I write down orders unless it’s a table of 10 or more who tend to move around. It makes it easier to keep up with seat numbers when it’s time for checks. If only I had a nickel for every, “You don’t need to write this down?”
What is your favorite thing to eat at Raduno?
It’s honestly so hard to choose because everything is so good! I’m a self-proclaimed turophile, so my favorite would be the cheeseboard. Besides, it’s beautiful to look at. I love to go in on an off day and graze over the assortment of fruits, vegetables and fresh cheese. I always find myself wanting more, especially with Cash’s pimento cheese.
What is the craziest pizza the kitchen has made for other staff members?
Dessert pizzas are always crazy! Once there was a half chocolate chip, half mixed berry pizza covered with powdered sugar. They topped it with pretty much anything sweet we had. Talk about a sugar rush.
When not at work, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
I enjoy being on the opposite side of the table for date nights with my boyfriend or brunch with friends. But I also really enjoy spending quality time with myself. Whether it be in a park reading, solving sudokus at the coffee shop, anything art or fashion, lighting every candle I can in my apartment and listening to music, and cooking meals of my own. So much of my job is giving myself to others constantly, it’s nice to focus some of that back onto myself and do whatever it is my heart desires. That makes me feel good.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Still so good.
Who is someone — I’m thinking a celebrity — that could walk in the restaurant and legitimately make you nervous?
Rihanna! Queen! Love her! I think she would have good vibes, so I’m sure once I get over the initial shock, I’d no longer be nervous.
I walk into Raduno for brunch. What should I order?
In my eyes brunch isn’t brunch without a drink and eggs somewhere in the mix. So, first and foremost, a Bloody Mary. I prefer “Evil Spicy.” It even comes with a little slice of pizza to snack on while I wait for the main attraction. Then I’ll order the Italian Beef Benedict with a side of potatoes with an extra side of chipotle hollandaise to dip them in. To finish, the zeppoles, which are like Italian fried ricotta donut holes. Can’t forget the lemon curd!
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