5 Restaurant Industry Jobs You Never Knew Existed

The dining room at Kinship in Shaw. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Lysa Senich, Uniform Stylist

Works with: Kinship/Métier.
The gig: Senich, a Nordstrom personal stylist, creates server wardrobes.
The challenge: At Kinship and Métier, “it needs to be clean and elegant because that’s the way the food is, but also functional—and washable.”

Larry Weaver, Coffee Director

Works with: Maketto, Thip Khao, and Hummingbird.
The gig: The Coronation Coffee owner creates restaurant-specific blends, trains baristas, and gives coffee-history lessons.
The challenge: “To improve coffee in DC restaurants. So many have incredible food and finish with bitter, dark coffee that’s not great for dinner.”

Courtney Allen, Guest-Relations Director

Works with: Fiola, Fiola Mare, Casa Luca, Sfoglina, and the forthcoming Del Mar.
The gig: “Anything related to guests,” including handling VIPs and responding to Yelp reviews.
The challenge: “Ensuring that the experience is seamless every time.” The guest profiles she maintains include preferences (sparkling over still) and aversions (hates mushrooms).

Marc Ciagne, Mystery-Shopper Deployer

Works with: District Taco, Jetties.
The gig: The Blink Research founder dispatches shoppers to evaluate eateries discreetly—on everything from food to bathroom cleanliness.
The challenge: Truth can hurt. “A lot of the value for restaurants is to solicit feedback before they read about it on Yelp.”

Mary Mashburn, Letterpress Designer

Works with: The Dabney, Woodberry Kitchen.
The gig: Creating logos and menu templates using early-20th-century letterpress.
The challenge: Mixing old and new. “These res­tau­rants take heritage ideas and interpret them in a modern way—with letter­press, we take an old craft and use digital to reproduce things.”

This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.