John grew up in Queens, New York in a family of native New Yorkers with a half-Italian and half Irish and German background. As a teenager, John got his first job in the hospitality industry, working as a Bar Back at an NYC concert venue. Over the years, John held increasingly senior positions in important restaurants and establishments across the city. In 2015, he joined the Eataly team, beginning as Restaurant Service Director at Eataly Flatiron.
At Eataly Flatiron, John managed key projects including the remodeling of various restaurant concepts. He was promoted to General Manager of Restaurants and oversaw all six of Flatiron’s bustling full-service restaurants. During this time, John successfully worked to make Flatiron’s rooftop Birreria one of the city’s most sought-out reservations.
In 2018, John agreed to lead restaurant operations for our new location which would be opening in Las Vegas. Our leaders knew that he was the right person to bring Eataly’s brand to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. In 2019, John was promoted to Store Director where he currently oversees strategy and operations across our entire multi-functional marketplace in Las Vegas.
Why did you choose a career in the hospitality industry?
“The baseline behind hospitality is people should be having fun, right? You know, break bread, have a meal together, have a cocktail or two. Hospitality is an experience. Who doesn’t want to go to a new restaurant opening or to have a beautiful vacation? There is a part of culture that people want to talk about the great times versus the not-so-great times. I personally have a lot of fun in hospitality. I went to school for Nutrition and Physical Therapy. I passed the test to become an NYPD Police Officer. So I took a chance at a few other jobs, but I was just so happy in hospitality that I decided to stay.”
How did you get started at Eataly?
“In 2015, a friend encouraged me to interview as Eataly was looking to institute a new Service Director position. I interviewed with about seven people. On each interview, I asked ‘Why should I want to work for Eataly?’. All seven people said it was their favorite job they ever had and that they loved what they did. Growing up in NYC in hospitality, that’s just not an answer you get from seven different interviews. I ended up joining the company especially because of this. Everyone seemed happy, they liked where they were in life, and they saw the future.”
In your own words, what is the role of the Store Director?
“It’s driving strategy for the store. It’s maintaining the Eataly brand and identity while recreating ourselves over and over. At Eataly, we always want to offer unique experiences and ‘wow’ moments. We do whatever it takes. This means, on some Saturdays, you’ll find me personally shucking oysters, scooping gelato, or filling cannoli if we are having a special festa across the store. Finally, the Store Director needs to manage the General Managers and work with talent at all levels to make us even better at what we do.”
What is your favorite part of working at Eataly?
“I’ve loved seeing everyone on our team really grow over the last seven years. It’s a big piece of why I continue to love Eataly. It’s a beautiful thing. We learn from the mistakes we’ve made in the past and from each other.”