21 Aug 2014
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Pizzeria Lola Savors Its Servers

Popular pizzeria turns the spotlight of fame on its employees, away from chef.

Pizzeria Lola Savors Its Servers

Anne Kim could, by several measures, be considered one of the most successful names in the Minneapolis food scene today. Barely a year after launching her first restaurant following a career change to pizza-making,  is regularly bursting at the doors. As if that weren’t enough, her face graced the cover of Minnesota Monthly’s “Hot Young Chefs” issue back in March, and her creative pies routinely scores praise and attention from food critics and journalists alike. 

So why has she suddenly interrupted the steady stream of pizza glamour shots on Lola’s Facebook page to showcase her staff, from servers to dishwashers?

“Because, I think we have an awesome staff and usually when there’s any recognition or anything about the restaurant, I’m feature in it,” she told Patch, a hint of amusement in her voice at being asked such a patently silly question.

Nearly every day, a new profile pops up on Lola’s Facebook wall, with a candid photo, a server’s favorite Lola ‘za, their favorite karaoke song, and how they spend their lives when they're not serving. None of the profiles offer terribly deep insights into any one server’s personality—at a paragraph apiece, that would be some impressive prose—but they humanize a role that us media types often gloss over, as though servers were nothing more than mechanical delivery devices for a celebrity chef’s creations.

Things like “I love you, Nicky!” and personal notes extolling the way a staff member remembers someone’s name, or greets them with a hug litter the comments section of each post. It’s a reminder that each pair of eager eyeballs scanning a news story about a neighborhood hot spot could be motivated as much by a love of the food as a love of the people who serve it.

“This restaurant is only successful to the staff we have here,” Kim said. “Each one of these people contributes to the great service, the atmosphere, the total experience that you get.”

How close do you get with the servers at your favorite restaurant?

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