Although his grandfather and his great-uncle opened the first MacDonald’s restaurant in Canada and also started the Keg franchise, Dan Tidball’s current role in the food and beverage industry came from his own hard work.
Dan started out as a restaurant cook at age 15 and parlayed his outgoing personality into waiting tables at 18. He worked at East Side Mario’s, Boston Pizza and Kelly O’Bryan’s, where he served and bartended for more than four years, and today he is in charge of day business at Joey’s Global Grill in Kelowna.
Although Dan relishes the atmosphere and food at Joey’s, he especially loves surrounding himself with intelligent, caring, outgoing, and energetic people — and then watching them succeed at their jobs.
He views training staff as his most rewarding task, although it does have its challenges. “You have to be quick to judge a person’s ability, because you don’t have a lot of time, but you also have to allow your staff to come out of their shells and be themselves,” he says. Training can be time-consuming in a time-sensitive environment. Sometimes you have to demote staff and allow them to rethink and refocus, or cut them loose if they don’t increase sales, and that’s not easy on anyone.
“Although the rewards won’t come right away,” he says, “the satisfaction comes from knowing that you are making a difference with the customers.” But don’t chase the financial rewards, he cautions. Look instead for everything to be going great for the staff and the customers, “and the rewards will surely come.” A caring attitude goes a long way, because it makes training easier and more enjoyable, and the customers recognize it, which makes them happier as well.
“When at work,” Dan says, “put all your issues aside, play the super host, be a story-teller, think about the guests, and say and do whatever they want. And finally, focus on your strengths, recognize your weaknesses, ensure that your team leaders compliment each other — and have fun!”
Dan hopes to someday run his own Joey’s, or at least his open his own restaurant.