Nouveau Bar & Grill CEO, Ebony Austin, takes pride in celebrating her one-year anniversary in Atlanta on Oct. 24, 2020. Austin shared three techniques she implements in her daily regimen that allows her to “weather the storm” on any occasion. These tools were very essential during Atlanta’s shutdown in March and April and essentially prepared her to re-open in phases with COVID-19 restrictions specific to the restaurant business.
The rolling out AM Wake-uptalk show recently invited Austin to discuss the importance of leadership, adaptability and how she’s navigating through this pandemic successfully amidst the new restaurant dine-in experience.
Being prepared has always been my top priority.
“Preparation. In order to be prepared you first have to believe in yourself and learn your own strength. It’s important to scale up your business before getting hit with a crisis. Upon deciding to move to Atlanta 3 years ago to embark on the journey as a restauranteurI made sure I was prepared. By the time I decided on a location and opened my establishment I had my payroll set up for one year, and my lease paid up to one year prior to any pandemic talk. Having a plan set up in advance always prepares you for the unknown.”
Adaptability is key.
“The first thing I think about when I touch the floor each morning is setting an example for the next generation coming up behind me. As a leader teaching my staff to adapt when the unknown happens is high priority. In the hospitality business, every day has new challenges. You must be able to overcome any challenge that comes your way expeditiously. We had to change our entire menu when COVID19hit because at the time we were not doing take-out orders at all.
We found ourselves adding new flavors to the wings and doing different things with the lobster tails. Eating out is now a special occasion. We have learned to appreciate going out to eat. Just leaving the house is now different. We do temperature checks at the door, not only for our customers but also the staff, and our Chefs have to be tested on a regular. We want to provide a safe environment.”
Inspirational leadership is essential for success.
“Be inspired. To be successful in business you have to be inspired by something. As a leader, I am inspired by the fact that I have so many people looking up to me. What I’ve learned about myself since I became a restaurateur is that throughout the day I have to become many different people. I’m a coach, a counselor, a chef, and a teacher. You have to be able to train your staff on your brand, how to treat customers, handle conflict and train them on implementing your vision of the customer experience at Nouveau Bar and Grill. Show people your mistakes as well as success. I had a great mentor and I welcome mentorship to anyone who thrives for success.”
Follow @Nouveaubaratl on Instagram to keep up with weekly restaurant events. Come celebrate Nouveau Bar & Grill’s 1 year anniversary and HBCU Day on October 24th. Represent your favorite HBCU merchandise paraphernalia. If you have applied to an HBU or received your acceptance letter please bring a copy as Ebony Austin has something special in store for you. Nouveau Bar & Grill is located at 3774 Main Street, College Park, GA.