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Cranberry restaurant manager recognized for leadership abilities

| Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, 5:57 p.m.
Submitted
Heather Graytok

A local restaurant manager received industry honors for her success during the last year, completing her goal of making her eatery stand out in the crowd.

Heather Graytok, managing partner of the LongHorn Steakhouse in Cranberry, received Darden Restaurants' Diamond Club status for her leadership and the restaurant's financial performance.

“It feels great,” Graytok said. “This is my ultimate goal and it happened in two years as being a managing partner.”

Valerie Insignares, president of LongHorn Steakhouse, described Graytok as an exceptional leader committed to the company's goals.

“She leads a dedicated team that is passionate about our food, our guests and their community — ultimately making the Cranberry Township LongHorn Steakhouse a great place to work and dine,” Insignares said.

Graytok, 28, got her start in the company in 2009 as an assistant manager and worked her way up to managing the Cranberry location, where she oversees daily operations. The Mt. Lebanon resident said she owes much of her success to the strength of her team.

“You're only as good as your weakest link,” she said.

The key to success is learning, teaching and helping staff members and other managers reach their goals, Graytok said. She said it starts with knowing her employees and how they operate.

“You come here and have one job — take care of the guest — but there are a ton of things we can do to make this job more fun,” she said. “Reward, recognize and praise.”

Darden Restaurants, based in Orlando, includes Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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