We all know that great service is a top requirement of a stellar dining experience. But how can a server—or any hospitality employee, for that matter—be expected to provide exquisite assistance if he or she loathes his or her job? I’m always chatting with service industry professionals and thought it might be fun to explore why they adore their nine-to-five (or their five-to-the-wee-hours). Recently I visited with Jeanine, dinner server at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa’s The Steakhouse.
Born in Playa Del Rey and raised in Big Bear, Jeanine emigrated to the desert following high school graduation. After six months, due mainly to her love of all things aquatic, she fled to Hawaii, where she became a dolphin trainer—in her words, “an enlightening experience.”
She’s been back in the Valley full-time for five years, the last four of which she’s spent at The Steakhouse. She was a bartender for three-and-a-half of those before transitioning “to the floor” six months ago. “My job makes me smile,” she says simply, adding that she believes The Steakhouse offers the best food in the Valley. “I’ve lost track of how many guest have told me theirs was the best steak they’ve ever had. That makes my job easy, makes me feel good.”
After more than 25 years in the food and beverage business, Jeanine says she’s proud to work for a tribe that does so much for this Valley—one that runs a very green business and that has a beautiful property and a show-stopping live performance venue to boot. The fact that she’s never had the privilege of taking care of so many great regulars—people she’s grown to truly care for—is the icing on The Steakhouse’s devilishly delicious chocolate cake. “Some nights I feel like I got to visit with old friends,” she says. “That’s as good as it gets.”