Darden Digest

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I’m Passionate about Sharing My Love of Cheddar’s

December 03, 2018

by Michael Lopez

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I’m Passionate about Sharing My Love of Cheddar’s

Michael Lopez, who won Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen’s Service Team Member of the Year award, takes pride in the brand’s food and service.

Photo Credit: Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

I’m Passionate about Sharing My Love of Cheddar’s

December 03, 2018

by Michael Lopez

General Topics:
Brand Categories:

I’m a firm believer in the saying, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’m lucky to have found that with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.  When I started with the brand in high school, I never imagined I would be where I am today — a service manager in Kissimmee, FL.

Cheddar’s helped me discover my passion for hospitality. Within my first nine months, I was promoted to service team lead, and less than four years later, I was promoted to my current role. What opportunities! I knew I wanted to build my career with Cheddar’s and learn everything I could, so I went to Valencia College and earned an associate degree in hospitality management.

Another reason I love my job is Cheddar’s food and service. We provide guests with superior service in an atmosphere that makes them feel at home as they dig in to our satisfying, made-from-scratch entrées. The smiles on their faces when they take their first bite of our hand-crafted dishes make me proud of our vision “to be America’s everyday kitchen.” 

I love sharing my enthusiasm for the brand. Out in public, I often have Cheddar’s swag with me to catch people’s eyes. I love talking about our brand and hearing how much our guests like Cheddar’s. I find love for our food everywhere!

Cheddar’s has provided me with experiences I’ll never forget. One day a photographer hired by Darden took my photograph, and it’s now a huge mural at Darden’s Restaurant Support Center in Orlando, FL. It is exciting to see my face there! 

A few months ago, I was thrilled to receive Cheddar’s Service Team Member of the Year award. I was in shock when the brand president called to tell me I had been chosen. I still can’t believe I won such a prestigious award, an example of the many wonderful ways Darden recognizes its team members.  

My manager training has been excellent, and the leadership and direction of Managing Partner Joe Brooks has helped me refine my leadership skills and prepared me for the next step in my career with Cheddar’s. I can’t wait to see what’s next.