Few would consider moving from the pot room to the dish room a promotion, but that is precisely how Paul Tuennerman viewed his move while working at the Sheraton Red Lion Inn, in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Paul began his restaurant career at the age of fifteen when he took a job at Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips just off the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From there, Paul moved to the Sheraton Red Lion Inn, and then an independent, white tablecloth restaurant, the Cuckoo's Nest.
The success of any restaurant is dependent upon the associates pulling together, working towards a common, well-defined goal, a happy paying customer. This camaraderie and nearly instant feedback had Paul hooked. Paul soon discovered that the long, sometimes thankless hours spent slipping and sliding on quarry tile floors created a bond between him and his coworkers that he had never really experienced as a young adult.
These early jobs in the restaurant industry were formative and contributed to Paul's philosophy that success does not begin in the corporate office, but in the restaurant, where the interaction between the associates and the customer, takes place.
Throughout Paul's career, he has gravitated towards operations and has tremendous appreciation and admiration for the work people do, every day, in kitchens and dining rooms around the world.