Allal Gogo currently resides in New York City; he emigrated from Morocco in his early 20s to pursue his career in hospitality. He has been with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts for over 11 years starting as a Management Trainee. Throughout his career he was able to travel the world while being able to continuously grow in both his professional and personal life. He had moved up quickly from Management Trainee to Assistant Food & Beverage Manager immediately to Senior Food & Beverage Manager before becoming the General Manager of the Carlyle Restaurant. He is currently the Manager of Cafe Carlyle, the New York bastion of classic cabaret entertainment.
If you could go back in time what advice would you give your younger self when starting in the industry? Start building your career skills as early as possible and weigh your career growth opportunities carefully. Following your gut is okay but be careful not to job-hop recklessly or sell yourself short during that process. You will be able to move to where opportunities are and even if you are far from home you should promise yourself to acknowledge when it may not be a good career match and never to force yourself into a bad career move. Of course, start saving your pay as soon as possible! A mentor’s accumulated wisdom and expertise must be passed on to the next generation. Good mentors make this process conscious, discussing challenges and satisfactions of mentorship with mentees. While the actual moment of transition from mentee to mentor varies according to circumstances, the mentor must feel that the mentee has achieved real expertise and has a coping, generous personality to make this leap. Often, some event within the mentor’s area — a retirement, a new grant, or a major project — creates the need for a new mentor to join the ranks. Lastly, YOU should define your own success - this does mean money; it can come from the simple satisfaction how far you have come along on your journey.
Where do you focus your attention day-to-day regarding your business? If you’re like most successful business owners and entrepreneurs I’ve met, you don’t intentionally choose what to focus on, you just do it. In other words, your focus is primarily reactive, not proactive—and that’s a problem. Why? Because whatever you focus on determines how you feel, how you use your time, how you order your day, how you perceive what’s happening to you and your company, what you pay attention to etc. Virtually everything in your life (and mine) is driven by focus.
What are key characteristics you look for in applicants when hiring? During the hiring process I look for the following traits: 1. Integrity 2. Committed to continuous improvement 3. Common sense and great critical judgement 4. Proactive, positive, can-do attitude 5. Able to differentiate themselves from their peers 6. Possess the skills to do the job or show the ability to develop them quickly.
What change do you want to see in our industry? I would love for the food and beverage industry to become more transparent. Consumers want to know and understand what ingredients are going into their products. People are seeking simplicity in addition to better quality foods and are looking for brands that share transparency to the product, as well as reflect their own personal values. I would like to see an emphasize on locality with ingredients, reduction of waste, and health conscious meals being served.