Our FOH Junior, Eunbi Lee, describes her role in the dining hall as a mission to engage and communicate with the customers who visit Solbam, ensuring they have a delightful and enjoyable time.
How did you get into this line of work?
Initially, I was doing something completely unrelated. However, I decided to explore new opportunities and started working part-time at a French cafe and bistro called Fauchon. It was during my time there that I had a wonderful manager who became a great source of inspiration for me. They showed me the beauty of hospitality, making me realize that it's more than just serving food from the kitchen. It's about connecting with people and ensuring they have a happy time. This experience led me to see this job as a mission.
What have you been learning and building in your career?
In the beginning, while at Fauchon, I learned various skills, including coffee-making, tea, and tea cocktails. I found these experiences to be enjoyable, so I dedicated myself to becoming a beverage specialist. Later, I moved to B3713, a brunch and wine bar specializing in Nordic cuisine. There, I delved into wine knowledge, studying for the WSAT certification. I've been continuously filling in gaps in my knowledge and skills step by step.
How did you end up at Solbam?
I first visited Solbam with some former colleagues as a diner. The food was absolutely delicious, and I was impressed by the chef's talents. The service left a lasting memory as well. I usually prefer not to read reviews before going to a restaurant, similar to how some people avoid movie previews. So, I visited Solbam without any preconceptions or expectations, and it turned out to be a delightful experience. I particularly loved the way each course was presented as a gift, leaving a great impression. I thought to myself that if I ever had the chance, I would love to work at Solbam. In April, when my manager changed jobs at my previous workplace, I also began contemplating my future career path, and that's when I came across Solbam's recruitment news. Without hesitation, I applied.
How is the service experience at Solbam different from your previous jobs?
All my previous jobs were in a-la-carte bistros, so the style at Solbam is quite different. Here, we follow a systematic flow, and I'm learning a lot from the well-organized atmosphere and high-quality service. Solbam has a unique approach that emphasizes a warm and friendly atmosphere, which aligns perfectly with my nature. As a result, I find great happiness in my work. When I interact with customers, I feel fulfilled, knowing that I play a role in warmly welcoming them, whether they are friends, family, or first-time guests, without any stiffness or formality. It's a genuinely enjoyable experience.
Have you faced any difficulties in your current role?
Compared to my previous experience in a bistro, there are fewer unexpected situations in the dining hall at Solbam. However, as we primarily offer expensive course meals, there is certainly pressure to ensure everything runs smoothly. The restaurant maintains a high standard in terms of service, so I am more conscious of avoiding mistakes. This responsibility can be both a burden and a motivation for me to create a special dining experience for our guests.
What are you currently focusing on in your career?
I am dedicating myself to studying wine. One of the main reasons I chose to work at Solbam was the belief that I could grow professionally with the excellent guidance provided here. Unlike before, I now have senior staff like our head Sommelier who offer me proper guidelines and teach me, which has been incredibly valuable for my learning journey.
After work, I typically study from three WSAT textbooks, delving into the world of wine and its different regions until the early hours of the morning. On my days off, I visit wine bars to enjoy and gain more experience. Additionally, at Solbam, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to taste and learn about various wines from Chef Um during blind tasting sessions. This firsthand experience helps me understand different varieties and regions better.
What makes you proud of working at Solbam?
My pride doesn't come from grand achievements but rather from the small, meaningful moments with our customers. The essence of this job is the joy that comes from connecting with people and making their dining experience special. When customers visit the wine bar and express their satisfaction with the food and service, it genuinely makes me happy. Similarly, reading reviews that highlight Solbam's kindness, sincerity, and attention to detail brings a sense of fulfillment.
What are your aspirations for your time at Solbam?
I'm still relatively new to Solbam, having joined less than 100 days ago. Currently, I focus on supporting my senior colleagues and improving my skills in hall service and hospitality. I also dream of becoming a sommelier. In 2023, I am preparing for the CMA (Certified Sommelier) exam. During my interview with Chef Um, I mentioned that my goal as a sommelier is to create a positive and satisfying experience for our customers. He appreciated my vision, which encourages me to work harder to achieve that dream. Despite some initial clumsiness and nervousness, I am determined to grow and make my mark in this role.