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“5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Manage a Team” With Andrea Anthony, host of PBS’s Eat, Drink, & Bake with Andrea

Keep your personal feelings and ego out of it. This can be the downfall of anyone in authority. The staff members that respect their superiors tend to be the happiest and most productive employees. If your management is at odds with the staff, it will breed negativity throughout the organization. The true test of a real […]

Keep your personal feelings and ego out of it. This can be the downfall of anyone in authority. The staff members that respect their superiors tend to be the happiest and most productive employees. If your management is at odds with the staff, it will breed negativity throughout the organization. The true test of a real leader is to be able to compartmentalize — you don’t always have to like everyone who works for you. There are some people that work for me that I wouldn’t choose as friends, but they do a superb job and that’s what matters most.



I had the pleasure to interview Andrea Anthony. Andrea is the co-owner of famed East Hamptons mainstay, Lobster Roll Restaurant and the host of Eat, Drink, & Bake with Andrea on PBS. A former restaurant management professor with more than four decades in the restaurant business, Andrea’s passion for cooking has led her to pursue flavor in all its forms. Inspired by her travels, Andrea is fluent in a myriad of international cuisines and is also well versed on the page, as a cookbook co-author. She mixes her expertise, kitchen skills, and down-to-earth style to make great, flavorful food more accessible to the masses.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was planning to pursue a career in psychology when my career path took a major turn. In 1977, I was asked to help manage a restaurant owned by my then husband in Southampton, NY. His manager quit two weeks prior to the grand opening, putting him in an extremely difficult position. Although the restaurant was sold one year later, the experience gave me a taste of an industry I learned I was incredibly passionate about and I became a partner in The Lobster Roll Restaurant in Amagansett shortly after. I learned the ropes from the ground up, and I must say, my psychology background was very useful. One of the key ingredients to successfully managing a business is the ability to be a “people person.”

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Being offered my own cooking show at the age of 62! It has reminded me that it is never too late to launch a new direction. There is always a new mountain to climb.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I ever made was addressing a table of four fishermen who came into the Lobster Roll for drinks and complained that their cocktails were “watered down.” My knee jerk reaction was to go to the table and measure out a 2 oz. pour from the liquor bottle (many restaurants use a 1 1/2 oz. pour). As I poured the liquor into the glass, the pour came loose, and the entire bottle spilled on the table and splashed on the gentleman at the table! Luckily, they had a sense of humor. The moral of the story is, don’t react emotionally. Knee jerk reactions rarely go well.

Ok, let’s jump to the core of our interview. Most times when people quit their jobs they actually “quit their managers”. What are your thoughts on the best way to talent today?

At the core of every successful organization is the “right” team and hiring individuals that fit the bill is where it all begins. Employees are our most important resource, and the most challenging aspect of management is mastering the art of coaching them. All passionate entrepreneurs aim to cultivate the best team possible, but it’s up to you as their leader to make that happen. In the hospitality business especially, the key requirement to finding and retaining top talent is a shared love of people! I heard a saying a long time ago, “It’s easier to train nice people than it is to train people to be nice.” That’s the baseline at The Lobster Roll for recruiting the right staff members.

How do you synchronize large teams to effectively work together?

When it comes to actually managing your team, the first step is being able to convey the company brand, which includes the overall goals and objectives of the business, to the various staff positions. This helps give them a better understanding of how their role impacts the big picture. From here, proper training is essential. Your employees are more likely to excel when they know exactly what is expected of them. We need to teach our staff how to best perform their job functions and give constructive feedback along the way. Coach them! Training and development is an on-going process. I run a seasonal restaurant, which is particularly challenging since many staff members are transient leading to a high turnover rate. This makes training more difficult but even more necessary. We have a short window to train and make operations run as smoothly as possible.

Based on your personal experience, what are the “5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Manage a Team”. (Please share a story or example for each, Ideally an example from your experience)

Having good listening skills and being approachable are vital when dealing with employees. I have an open-door policy and will always make time for staff members who need to be heard.

Encouraging feedback from managers and staff inspires new ideas and innovation. When people feel that their thoughts are valued, they become a bigger part of the growth and development of the company which creates a sense of loyalty. Their perspective can be very informative when you decide to listen.

Learning how to resolve problems and conflicts between staff members takes patience and finesse. It is counter-productive to react from a position of frustration or anger. Gather the facts and strive to be neutral and objective. Sometimes allowing staff to just vent and be heard can defuse a negative situation.

Always conduct yourself as a professional. Treat each and every employee with respect and dignity. They are people first and employees second. The relationship between a CEO and management sets the tone and becomes the standard that trickles down throughout the organization, which then impacts the way they treat your customers.

Keep your personal feelings and ego out of it. This can be the downfall of anyone in authority. The staff members that respect their superiors tend to be the happiest and most productive employees. If your management is at odds with the staff, it will breed negativity throughout the organization. The true test of a real leader is to be able to compartmentalize — you don’t always have to like everyone who works for you. There are some people that work for me that I wouldn’t choose as friends, but they do a superb job and that’s what matters most.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Become a good role model. This means walk the walk and practice what your company mission statement preaches. Team building practices can be very effective in helping employees to thrive. Work towards encouraging employees to contribute thoughts, ideas and feedback. This should be viewed as an ongoing practice.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Stress management skills should be a requirement in our school’s curriculum. Stress management skills are not innate. If we teach our kids yoga, meditation, or various other methods of mind and body wellness, we could better help establish a foundation to learn to deal with the stresses of daily life.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Put your passion into your organization. I love the quote from Confucious, “If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life!”

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