Rachel Brown recently celebrated 25 years with the brand. She started as a part-time host in 1993 and worked as a server and bartender at LongHorn Steakhouse locations in Kennesaw, Marietta and Canton, GA. For the last 19 years, she has been a fixture in the Woodstock, GA, location. She tells us why she loves her job and has stayed so long.
Q. What do you like best about bartending?
A. I’m a people person. I like to talk and laugh and have a good time with my guests. It’s an escape, and I don’t think about my problems. I just focus on my guests and make sure they are happy. I’ve had people move out of the area and come back 15 years later, and I’m still bartending. They say, ‘I can’t believe you’re still here.’
Q. When did you realize you wanted to do this for life, and what persuaded you to go all in?
A. I always loved the work, but eight years ago was a turning point. I was getting a divorce and suddenly had to support myself and two kids, so I went from part time to full time. To my surprise, it was doable. I could support us all on my salary. My managers were super supportive. If I needed time off because one of my kids had an emergency, no problem. My son, Cody, is 23 now, and my daughter, Sarah, is 20. They have become the most amazing adults, and I’m proud of them.
Q. Why have you have dedicated your career to LongHorn?
A. I have never looked at it as a career because I don’t see it as work. I go in and do my job well and have a good time. I need to talk to people and be on the go. I don’t want to sit behind a desk. Still, it’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years. I live only 2 miles from work, and I know thousands of people in this community through my job. If I need to buy a car or put a new roof on my house, I know people. I have a neighbor I haven’t seen out on the street lately whom I’ve seen in LongHorn three times in the last two weeks.
Q. Would you recommend LongHorn as a good employer to your friends and family? How about to the stranger you strike up a conversation with in the line at the post office?
A. I would. LongHorn has been great to me. People will say, ‘They are lucky to have you,’ and I say, ‘No, I’m lucky to have them.’ There are 10 to 15 restaurants near the LongHorn Steakhouse where I work, but I stay where I am. LongHorn is solid, and we have support from the bottom all the way to the top, which means consistency in the quality of our people, our food and our service. We have great training so we can keep our quality high. I’m particular about where I work.
Q. What is something you are unusually good at now, thanks to this job?
A. I used to hate opening wine bottles. I’d get nervous and shake the whole time, afraid I’d break the cork. Now I open 12 to 15 bottles a night and don’t even think about it. I’m quick.