Working in the restaurant industry has always been in Andrew Rigie’s blood. As the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, Andrew ranks among New York City’s most knowledgeable experts on restaurant regulations, compliance and trends, but his beginnings in the industry were more humble: baking and mopping the floors at his family’s local cafe.
It was once Andrew left the family business—and back of house operations—that he started to discern his future in food. Attending ICE’s Culinary Management program by day and working as a waiter by night, he realized that his interests lay less in day-to-day restaurant management, but rather in the big picture issues that affected the industry as a whole.
From his current perch atop this dynamic network of industry insiders, Andrew is uniquely poised to notice subtle shifts and emerging trends in the industry. “I see an incredible professionalization of the hospitality industry, especially in NYC. It’s not good enough to be just a great cook or a hospitable host—you have to be a great businessperson. That’s part of why we’ve seen the phenomenon of the restaurant group. Operating multiple concepts under one umbrella allows you to centralize operations and hire experienced professionals that specialize in sanitation, labor laws or other key compliance issues.”
Read on for Andrew's advice to young professionals in the restaurant industry.