LongHorn Steakhouse has presented Managing Partner Crystal Raab with many surprises during her 13 years with the brand.
“I never thought as a server that I’d become a managing partner,” she said. “It wasn’t even in my realm of thinking.” She began as a server because it was convenient work and offered a flexible schedule, which she needed while working toward an accounting degree and raising two small children, she said.
Two years later, when she had earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University and her kids were older and needed her less, she began to look for accounting work. She was torn, though, because she really liked foodservice, so she sat down with her director of operations to discuss her options.
“I thought becoming a restaurant manager would not be lucrative enough, but I was pleasantly surprised. Plus, the company offered great benefits including paid vacation and health insurance, so I became a manager.” After moving up through the ranks at several Georgia restaurants, she took the top spot at the LongHorn restaurant in Cumming, GA, in 2017.
But wait, it gets better. Her whole family — including those two children — now works for LongHorn Steakhouse. “I never thought that would happen, either,” she said.
First came her son, Brett Adams, who joined LongHorn in early 2016 after working in a bakery and at a fast-food restaurant. “He moved to LongHorn so he could be more appreciated,” Crystal said. Brett, a culinary team member in Canton, GA, attends college and wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a restaurant manager someday.
A year later, daughter Brittany Adams joined LongHorn. She works at the Athens, GA, location as a to go server during breaks from the University of Georgia, where she is studying genetics in hopes of becoming a scientist.
Several months ago, Crystal’s husband, John Harvey, made it a quartet. The bar and server assistant manager at the Roswell, GA, location had never worked in foodservice. “I thought it might be really hard for him, but he is doing well and really likes it,” Crystal said. John had been laid off from his job as a service manager at Tesla. “I appreciate working for a company where I’m rewarded for doing a good job,” John said. “I wanted a company I could retire with.”
“You never know where a LongHorn career can take you,” Crystal said. “The sky’s the limit, and my family and I are proof of that.”
Not surprisingly, the LongHorn family loves good food and often dines out together. “We eat at Darden restaurants a lot since they are some of the only places that keep to our standards and don’t disappoint!” Crystal said.
Now earning an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, Crystal said her expertise in accounting comes in very handy in the job. She likes all aspects of the work — the guest and team member interactions and making sure the food is perfect — but there’s also this: “I don’t have to sit behind a desk. I don’t think I could stand that.”