top of page

FOH Junior, Hye-soo Park

Hye-soo Park, a junior member of Solbam's Front of House (FOH) team, expressed her desire to make a meaningful contribution in welcoming guests with genuine warmth and crafting unforgettable memories.

FOH, which stands for Front of House, encompasses the restaurant's customer-facing area. It involves all aspects of customer interaction, from the welcoming and service staff to food and beverage service and engaging conversations with patrons. At this moment, Hye-soo Park is an integral part of the Solbam’s FOH team, where she dedicates herself to providing a heartfelt experience to Solbam's daily visitors.

How did you land this job?

Well, after graduating from culinary high school, I initially thought I'd pursue a career in cooking. However, I soon realized it wasn't my strong suit, so I began exploring alternative paths. My teacher suggested I consider the service industry, specifically work in the restaurant's front of house, so I decided to give it a try.

I strongly believe that in your youth, it's essential to gain diverse experiences. I dabbled in various jobs, starting with a position at a prominent hotel where I worked in the lobby to learn the fundamentals of the service industry. It was a significant departure from the world of cooking, and it opened my eyes to the broader concept of the 'service industry.' During my time at the hotel, I had the privilege of working alongside a very astute and skilled senior.

The hotel lobby is a space where a multitude of events occur, from business meetings to leisurely coffee sessions by people of all ages. Sometimes, customers would unintentionally express dissatisfaction and make quite a scene. It was during one of these incidents that left a lasting impression on me. A relatively new employee, I attempted to address the situation with a disgruntled customer, but my efforts weren't met with approval. The customer's anger escalated suddenly. In that moment, my senior swiftly came to my rescue. He not only listened to the customer's grievances but also managed to ease his frustration, find him a more suitable seating arrangement, and even took care of his drink order. The way he understood, empathized, and calmly resolved the customer's concerns, regardless of the cause, left me with a profound sense of respect for the art of service. That memory from my early days in the industry still sticks with me.

What kind of experiences did you gain after your time at the hotel?

Well, I was eager to explore the world of coffee, a beverage that plays an integral role in our daily lives. So, I joined a prominent coffee franchise, where I quickly came to appreciate the significance of standard operating procedures. You see, in a franchise setting, there are numerous branches, each with its unique managers. When I began, I was trained by the first manager, who taught me a particular method for making coffee. However, things took an unexpected turn when a new manager took over. It turned out they had an entirely different approach to coffee preparation. I was embarrassed to realize that I had been making coffee without fully understanding the original method.

I empathized greatly with the second manager's perspective, which emphasized the importance of consistency within a franchise. Their point was that every branch should deliver the same taste and quality, fostering trust and repeat business from customers. If we were lax in our methods, the entire brand's value could be diminished. This experience taught me the importance of adhering to principles, following manuals, mastering the basics, and maintaining brand consistency, marking a significant step forward in my career.

Subsequently, I ventured into a completely different realm of service at Dresden Green, specifically at the fine dining restaurant. Here, each table had a dedicated server responsible for it from start to finish. This placed a substantial sense of responsibility on me for both the table and the customer's experience. I found myself constantly pondering how to ensure an enjoyable time for our guests. For the first time in my career, I received tips from satisfied customers, praising the quality of service. Although I lacked formal training in wine expertise, the nature of the service required me to memorize a wealth of information and tasting notes about wine. It was challenging, no doubt, but it was also a tremendous learning opportunity.

Why did you decide to join Solbam?

Even before I applied to work here, Solbam had already gained quite a reputation among my colleagues in the industry. Getting a reservation was no easy task because of the high demand. I vividly remember struggling to secure a reservation for a special dinner with my boyfriend. Although it was undoubtedly the most expensive restaurant I had ever dined at, both my boyfriend and I shared the sentiment that it was well worth the investment. Given my background in the industry, I aspired to become a part of the Solbam team and provide exceptional service. This desire led me to apply for the position when I saw the job posting.

What sets Solbam's service apart from other restaurants?

I believe what sets Solbam apart is the fact that each staff member is responsible for nine tables. This approach places a strong emphasis on communication with the customers and values the art of engaging with them. It might seem like common sense, but in the midst of a busy restaurant, there can be a tendency for servers to perceive interacting with customers as "idle chatter" rather than essential work.

The practice of having multiple servers collaborate in serving a single table has the advantage of offering a cohesive experience as the "Solbam Service Team" rather than as individual servers. This means that many customers are likely to remember their meal as an experience with Solbam as a whole, rather than attributing it to a specific server.

What's it like working at Solbam?

Working at Solbam, I can sense Chef Eom's deep appreciation for people. He genuinely cares for and considers our team members as "my people," which fosters a strong sense of unity in our working environment. I must also mention the camaraderie among my colleagues. We operate within a passionate atmosphere, and (chuckles) it's quite evident that our manager places significant emphasis on motivation. We even have a group chat for our team members, where the manager frequently shares Instagram or YouTube content related to the service industry. This allows us to collectively watch and learn from lectures and videos.

What do you find appealing about a career in the service industry?

It's all about "people." It's somewhat ironic, as people can make the job challenging, yet they also provide the energy that fuels our work.

What are your aspirations for the next 10 years?

Looking ahead, my dream is to co-manage a cozy Izakaya with my boyfriend. He's a talented chef, and I thoroughly enjoy serving. We often host home parties where we cook and engage in delightful conversations with our friends, and it's a source of immense happiness for us. Since I've turned my passion into my profession, I hope to gain more valuable experiences in the industry. Ultimately, I aim to open our own establishment and embark on an exciting new journey.


bottom of page