Mike Fishman grew up a picky eater. “I didn’t even have a salad until I was 18,” he admits. He was selling shoes in an Adidas store after college when he saw a listing for a Sales Associate position at OpenTable and — five interviews later — he landed the job.
What he lacked in restaurant experience Mike made up for in passion. He came to know the local Chicago restaurant scene through his wife, a gluten-free vegetarian. Looking for the perfect restaurants to celebrate special occasions, he discovered a wealth of new foods and experiences. That led him to OpenTable; he worked in various areas of the organization, eventually managing a team and meeting with restaurants all around the Midwest to ensure their success on our system. “I got virtually all of my training from OpenTable,” he says.
Now, Mike is part of the founding team that opened Oriole in the Windy City in March. The 28-seat, fine-dining, tasting menu-only concept just received four stars from the Chicago Tribune — an out-of-the-gate rating that’s only been rewarded to five other restaurants to date: Trio, Alinea, Next, Ria, and Grace.
Here’s how an OpenTabler with no previous hands-on restaurant experience created a talent-packed team, ambitious concept, and thriving business in today’s ultra-competitive landscape. [Read more…]