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Jessica Ballou, Published April 01 2012

It's My Job: Johnny Carino's server enjoys interaction with customers

Suzanne Redekopp loves a fast-paced work environment full of interactions with customers.

As a server at Johnny Carino’s for the past year, she’s found a job that fits the bill perfectly.

Compared to her previous job in the retail industry, the energetic atmosphere at Carino’s provides a wider variety of challenges.

How did you hear about a job at Johnny Carino’s, and how did you get started there?

I was looking for a summer job that I could also have throughout my senior year, and I’ve heard serving is good for college students because you don’t have to work long hours, and you get to move around a lot … and it’s a way to make money very quickly.

I went into the restaurant and was able to fill out an application, then I spoke with the manager, and I was hired on the spot.

How would you describe the atmosphere of the restaurant?

It’s very fun and laid-back. It can be very fast-paced, especially on the weekends.

I really like working there for the fact that I get to meet a lot of people … from Fargo or out of town.

What are some of the different responsibilities you have?

As a server, that entails taking food orders.

Normally I bus my own tables. I’m just training to be a bartender. I occasionally help hosts if they’re busy. I promote menu items. I kind of do whatever I can to help people out.

It’s like the restaurant is a team. It has to run like a well-oiled machine, which sounds cliché, but it’s true.

It’s a very team-oriented atmosphere.

What do you like most about your job?

Getting to meet people and move around.

I’m expected to interact with people, but with retail, not so much.

Do you ever have to deal with rowdy customers or anything like that?

Generally it’s pretty laid-back because Carino’s is more of a family restaurant or date restaurant.

Sometimes customers are dissatisfied with something, and I’ll have to try to fix it, but it’s normally not too bad.

How do you juggle remembering all the drink and food orders and everything?

Usually I take notes in a little server booklet. I’m usually a visual learner, so that helps. I can put the face with their food or drink order.

As a bartender, there’s a lot more responsibility.

It’s all about asking people to help if I need it and also staying calm, especially when it gets really busy.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 241-5509