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Three Things Restaurant Managers Can Learn From the UConn “Mac & Cheese” Arrest

You get the cards your dealt, right? Not necessarily if you’re a part of the food staff at the University of Connecticut Student Center. Early last week a student stumbled into the Student Center demanding the establishment serve him his favorite macaroni and cheese dish. The student’s behavior rapidly escalated after his requests were denied. […]

You get the cards your dealt, right? Not necessarily if you’re a part of the food staff at the University of Connecticut Student Center. Early last week a student stumbled into the Student Center demanding the establishment serve him his favorite macaroni and cheese dish. The student’s behavior rapidly escalated after his requests were denied. The Market Manager, quick to the scene, was faced with the incredibly difficult decision of how to move forward in such a way that didn’t sacrifice the integrity of his role or the establishment.

We were blown away by the professionalism with which the manager handled the situation and pulled together key takeaways every manager should think about if faced with a similar situation:

1. Always keep your cool.

If you’re a manager, you have authoritative duties and your staff looks to you to set the standard of professionalism in the workplace. How you respond to these unique situations can set you apart for better or for worse. In this case, the Manager remained calm and firm in his decision to ask the young man to leave the premise.

2. Respect your staff and the establishment.

It’s clear from the video that the manager’s staff did not waste time to step in to his defense. The level of respect coworkers have for one another is crucial for a team’s success. This manager probably treats his team with the respect he would want to receive – and it paid off. While Chef Bill took a risk by intervening, he was aware that the situation had escalated too far and that his manager was potentially in danger.

3. Selfless acts don’t go unnoticed.

What good can come from a situation like this? After the incident, a group of concerned UConn students rallied together to start a GoFundMe campaign that would give the employees at the scene a well-deserved night out. Campaign organizer Sadie Rumsey says she is in discussions with the school about how to make sure the food service workers legally benefit from the donations since state law and UConn policies restrict workers from receiving gifts related to their employment. Rumsey expressed how “the USM employees made us all proud that night and captured what it means to be a husky. We just really want to say thank you.”

The full video has been taken down for legal purposes. You can read more about the incident here . You can also contribute to the GoFundMe campaign here .

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