30 Mar Meet the Robert Ryan Catering & Design Team: Madison Tupper, Staffing Coordinator
At Robert Ryan Catering & Design, we believe strongly in the idea that our employees are family. We’ve already introduced you to Danny Salazar, our executive chef who began his career at Robert Ryan as a dishwasher. Now we would like you to meet Madison Tupper—our training and staffing coordinator.
Madison began her work at Robert Ryan as a server in August 2007 when she was just 16 years old. In 2009, after two years on the job, she was promoted to become a level two wait staff, giving her more responsibility. In 2010, Madison was again promoted, to a level one wait staff, where she began training other employees and got the responsibility of taking care of the bridal party during receptions.
Madison loved working at Robert Ryan throughout high school and college. She enjoyed it so much that she frequently asked for more work opportunities, including working every Friday, Saturday and Sunday if she could. Now that’s dedication! Madison always dreamed of becoming an event supervisor, and her hard work eventually paid off when she was promoted to that role in July 2013.
Although she was studying to become a high school history teacher, Madison continued her work at Robert Ryan. She began student teaching in January 2014 and had what she refers to as a “career crisis.” She shares, “I loved the idea of becoming a teacher, but my heart and head just weren’t there. I developed a passion for weddings and the whole industry. I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Because she had come to respect Bob and Mark Ryan as mentors, she went to them for some advice about pursuing a career in the industry. Because of her hard work and dedication to the company, Bob and Mark actually created a brand new position just for Madison—training and staffing coordinator! Bob Ryan explains, “Mark and I created this new position for Madison so she could combine her education and her passion for the industry. She’s our teacher!”
In her role, Madison uses her years of serving expertise to hire and train new staff. She also manages the schedules of existing employees, making sure all events are properly staffed. She also works as part of the team on busy wedding weekends. Madison explains, “I want to show all the servers that I’m one of them and support them. I want the employees to see that I’m in the trenches, too. That’s important to me as a leader.”
She’s also developed new ideas to keep the work environment fun and engaging: employee of the month, monthly promotions like “best holiday decorations” and staff nights out including a visit to Citizens Bank Park as a team to take in the Phillies.
One of Madison’s favorite ideas is Bring Your Friend to Work Day. “A lot of what we do is seasonal and we have busy times of year,” shares Madison. “Sometimes we have a higher demand for staff, so instead of hiring a bunch of new people for a short period of time, I created Bring Your Friend to Work.” She continues, “You actually get paid to bring your friend to work with you. The staff member takes responsibility and ownership of their friends. They work hard, but have a lot of fun. The benefit is that new people get exposure to the company, get a sneak peek and get to experience the Robert Ryan Catering culture. Then they want to work for us and I can vet potential new employees. It’s a win for everyone!”
Bob Ryan praises Madison because she solved one of the company’s biggest challenges: sold-out weekends. He explains, “When all our wait staff are already working and we need 5–10 additional people for that specific weekend, Bring Your Friend to Work Day has solved any resource issues we may have had. It’s ideas like this that help Robert Ryan Catering & Design continue to be at the forefront of the industry.”
Madison’s goals for the future include a desire to maintain the company culture. She says, “I want to create an atmosphere where everyone loves to come to work and put on fantastic events. I’m extremely passionate about the business and I hope that my enthusiasm trickles down to staff and shows in every event we do. I want to keep the passion going—that’s what is most important to me.”
Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today!
Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.