Robert and Taylor Littman take a literal approach to the Yard House rule: “We Are Family.” For the newly promoted managers, family has been the cornerstone of their careers.
The siblings started their Yard House careers at the Virginia Beach, VA, location seven years ago, only one week apart. Robert got his job first, and he encouraged Taylor to apply. “People didn’t know we were brother and sister for the longest time,” Robert said. He worked in the kitchen as a pantry line cook while Taylor worked as a host in the front of the restaurant.
Two years ago, Taylor moved to Chicago, and Robert stayed in Virginia Beach. Despite the miles between them, they are on the same path to success. Taylor is a restaurant manager at the new Lombard, IL, location, and Robert is a sous chef at Virginia Beach.
Taylor was only 16 when she got the job, just beginning her restaurant career. Robert, seven years her senior, had worked earlier at an Italian restaurant chain where he had become a manager by age 22. “I grew up a lot quicker by going into management at a young age, but I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted to. I’m having fun now. For Taylor, it will be different because she’s with Yard House.”
“The culture is amazing,” Taylor said. “I absolutely adore the teamwork. I want to make sure everybody has fun.” Robert echoed her sentiment. “Yard House is relaxed and laid back. That’s the Yard House way. We do this because the job’s fun.”
Even though they don’t work in the same restaurant, they share the same passion for food and service. Taylor prides herself on helping her team members, getting to know guests and connecting with regulars. Robert, who went to art school, values presentation and precision. “You eat with your eyes first, so every dish has to be perfect. Everything has to have the right amount of ingredients. You want the guest’s mouth to water.”
'You eat with your eyes first, so every dish has to be perfect.'
— Robert Littman
Jennifer Firpo, their former general manager in Virginia Beach who now leads the Washington, DC, restaurant, worked with both siblings. “There isn't a way to explain one's strengths without the other. They share core characteristics such as sincerity and compassion that will bring them success in their new roles.”
Although they don’t know what the future holds, they would love to work together again. Robert even entertains the idea of running a restaurant with Taylor. “Together, we would be unstoppable.”