There are many factors that go into making a restaurant great. There is obviously the food; then “location, location, location”; but most importantly it’s the people that make or break a restaurant. Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille in Valparaiso knows this, which is why they take great care in selecting their staff for the front and back of the house.
One of the veterans on staff is Ronnie Sazone. He’s a jack-of-all-trades, if you will. Beginning as a server and bartender in the restaurant in 2011, he now expertly handles the tasks of serving, bartending, and front house managing.
“I applied here because it seemed like a cool place to work,” Sazone said. “I was right. It’s a very laid-back atmosphere. Everyone is very understanding and we listen to each other. ” Sazone has spent many years in the restaurant industry so he knows his trade well. He started in college at Valparaiso University because the hours were flexible and it helped to supplement his income while taking classes.
“I learned to get pretty good at what I did,” Sazone said.
Sazone grew up in Harvey, IL and got a scholarship to play football for VU. He continued to be involved with sports after college by taking on various coaching positions at schools around the region. He was able to work at Industrial Revolution due to the flexible hours and coach at the same time.
“I’ve had a lot of other sales jobs but I don’t deal with people at the level that I deal with them here,” Sazone said. “I love interacting with the customers and hearing their stories… We have good structure here [at Industrial Revolution] but it’s not so strict that it isn’t enjoyable work. They allow you to be an individual, not just part of the system.”
Sazone has a very relaxed personality. His great sense of humor goes over well with guests and his co-workers, giving a positive tint to the atmosphere of the restaurant. He loves to joke around, but when it’s time to work he has no problem rolling up his sleeves to apply the proverbial “elbow grease”.
“Working at this restaurant is a little different because you can be who you are as an individual, but still share a core set of goals with the rest of the staff at the restaurant,” Sazone said. “You need every type of individual to make a restaurant run well.”
Industrial Revolution Owner, Mike Leeson, makes sure to provide his employees with the best tools and work environment. He knows that if you take care of the people around you, you’ll be taken care of.
“I love working for Mike [Leeson]. He’s laid back and wants what he wants, as a boss should,” Sazone said.
So the next time you come in for a bite at Industrial Revolution, look for Ronnie Sazone. He may be your server, your bartender, or the MOD. No matter what role he’s in, he makes an already great place even greater.