Strawberry Milkshakes and Refined Dining: A Conversation with Upstairs Manager, Christiane

On 6 July 2017 byBridges Restaurant

 

Christiane bounds ebulliently down the stairs to the bistro where I’m waiting to conduct our interview. “I love strawberry!” she exclaims, as she orders two milkshakes at the Pistachio Dessert Bar. Besides her love of strawberry milkshakes, what’s immediately clear is Christiane has a lot of energy and passion for her job.

 

We Can’t all be Wolfgang Puck

Christiane explains, “At the age of 15 I knew that I wanted to be a chef. I knew that I wanted to have a career that was fun and engaging. So I went to chef training school and earned my Red Seal; however, I began to notice that the caliber of my cooking was not as high as I’d hoped, so I decided to shift my focus.

 

If You Can’t Take the Heat...

Realizing that she may not have what it takes to be a world-class chef, Christiane decided to cut a new path for herself, one that lead out of the kitchen and to the front of the house. “I’m good with people and I’m social, so working at the front of a restaurant seemed like a perfect fit for me. Christiane looks up playfully, and adds, “my dad taught me how to schmooze too, so that’s a skill that I utilize in my job every day.”

 

Back to School

With her newfound direction, Christiane decided to enrol in Kwantlen University’s Entrepreneurial Business Program. As she explains,“my boyfriend at the time got a degree in Education, so I thought to myself if he can do it, so can I!” It was there that she learned all about how to start a business from scratch, which would prove handy, as she was about to take over her employer’s restaurant!

 

From the Pan to the Fire

When the owner of the cafe at which Christiane was working to make end meet while at school decided to retire, he asked her if she was interested in taking over the business. Not one for inaction, she became partners with the Chef, and delved in! Christiane recalls, “I’m so glad that I owned a restaurant. I learned so much. It was my real practicum, where I truly learned about customer relations and management.” There’s nothing like practical, hands-on learning!

 

New Beginnings at Bridges Upstairs

When Christiane decided to sell the restaurant, she saw an opening for an upstairs manager position at Bridges. “I went to the interview and they hired me on the spot! I love working here. The staff is great and we all work really well together. Every day is different here and I love that I get to use my problem solving and communication skills.”

 

Don’t be Afraid of the Stairs

Bridges upstairs has a brand new sharing-style menu. It’s a more casual steakhouse feel. Less formal and more fun. Christiane calls it “refined dining.” When asked about the new approach, she explains, “I want people to feel comfortable coming upstairs as they are. There is no need to dress up or have a special occasion. I love it when I see families come up and and order a bunch of sharing dishes! Don’t be afraid to go upstairs!”

 

Hobbies Include...

When Christiane is not busy managing the upstairs at Bridges, she’s enjoying the West Coast life to the fullest! “I love biking, hiking, and swimming. I’m currently training for a triathlon. I love being active!” And with that, Christiane is off and running back up the stairs! I was only halfway through my chocolate milkshake--which was delicious by the way.

 

 

patio at Bridges

 

patio at Bridges

 

patio at Bridges

 

patio at Bridges