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News & Press: Industry News

IndyStar: LongHorn Steakhouse boss is a team builder

Monday, November 2, 2015  
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Amy Lynch, Star correspondent

Devin Baker enjoys building a strong team and helping employees grow in their careers.

In recognition of his skills, last year, the managing partner of LongHorn Steakhouse’s Traders Point location in Indianapolis received the company’s People Developer Award, one of just seven managing partners selected from a pool of more than 480 LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants in North America. The award recognizes managing partners who embody the company’s core values and have consistently demonstrated a passion for helping team members grow within the operation.

While employed as a general manager for a different restaurant, Baker, who is being profiled for The Star's How I Landed My Job feature, learned about the LongHorn Steakhouse job opportunity through a recruiter in March 2001. Excited about the possibility for professional growth, he went for it.

“At the time, this was a young company that had rapid growth potential,” Baker said. “It was a solid financial company as well. I was looking forward to being part of that growth, and I recently celebrated my 14th year with the company.”

Baker hopes to take his LongHorn Steakhouse career to the next level; he’s got his eye on eventually becoming a director of operations. He’s also an advocate within the LGBT community, having represented Darden Restaurants (LongHorn Steakhouse’s parent company) at last year’s national Out & Equal Workplace Summit.

Question: What are your main job responsibilities? 

Answer: “Operating a successful restaurant requires people, product, marketing and facilities management. Ultimately, everything is my responsibility.”

Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?

A: “There is no typical day in the restaurant industry! We have three different shifts as managers; my day depends on the role of the shift. Most importantly, we always want to make sure we are creating a comfortable dining environment for all of our guests, and always delivering the best service.”

Q: What kind of training or education is necessary for a position like yours?

A: “Training is ultimately the biggest key to success. As a company, we are always making sure we are on top of the latest trends in the industry, and we continuously provide training to our team members so they are able to serve our guests to the best of their ability.”

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?  

A: “Helping people grow in their personal development. I feel most proud that I have been able to create a sense of community in the restaurant industry by mentoring and developing those around me. Winning the company’s People Developer of the Year award was very rewarding.”

Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job? 

A: “We always strive to hire and maintain the best team in the industry, and that takes a lot of training and mentoring. The goal is to always make sure we are surrounded by hard-working individuals who want to grow within this industry.”

Q: What personal traits are key to success in your job?  

A: “You have to love what you do and have a passion for this industry. It’s all about making our guests feel at home and providing them with the best food and service possible. To accomplish that, you need to have a strong work ethic, charisma and a supportive family.”

Q: What advice would you give other people who want to do the kind of work you do? 

A: “Determination and hard work never go unrewarded. A guest who leaves happy is the most important thing for you and your team.”

More about Devin Baker

Job title: Managing Partner, LongHorn Steakhouse.

Age: 50.

Family: Shi-Tzu named Titleist.

Education: B.A. in telecommunications and German studies from Indiana University.

Previous work experience: Houlihan’s.

Favorite quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi

 

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