Alayzia Christopher has worked for three Darden brands in her five years with the company, and each time she grew more certain that she had found her true calling — and the best place to build her career.
Now a sales coordinator at Eddie V’s in Orlando, FL, after working at two Bahama Breeze locations in Florida and twice at The Capital Grille in Philadelphia, she said she’s always been impressed by Darden’s commitment to making its guests happy.
She began her foodservice career as a server with Bahama Breeze right out of high school in 2014. “My dad’s from the Virgin Islands, and my mom is Puerto Rican, so I’m very much an island baby. At Bahama Breeze I could get the best of both of my cultures in one meal. I always felt good there as a guest, so I decided to work there.”
A year later she moved to Philadelphia and worked as a host at The Capital Grille. “I wanted to refine my skills in a more luxurious, formal setting,” Alayzia said. “I loved the work, and being able to move from city to city made it easy to stay with Darden.”
She had planned to become a nurse but changed her mind. “I love helping people and lifting their spirits, but I can lift spirits in restaurants, too. I realized I didn’t have to be a nurse to make someone’s day.”
She couldn’t be happier at Eddie V’s, where she has thrived as a server since April 2018. “Everyone is so genuine and hospitable. We love people and our jobs and share a common goal — taking care of our guests.” A few weeks ago, she moved into a new role managing bookings for the private dining areas.
“Alayzia was the first person I hired,” said Thomas Costello, who became managing partner of the restaurant last March. “She has a radiant, energetic personality and has been influenced by the cultures of three Darden brands, which gives her unique insights. With continued development, she has the runway to make her aspirations a reality.”
Her career goals include becoming a sales manager for Eddie Vs, with the ultimate goal of working at Darden’s Restaurant Support Center in Orlando as an events planner. She is earning a degree in hospitality management.
On the side, Alayzia works as a model with the Wilhelmina agency. Recent gigs have included Target clothing ads and an appearance in “Teen Vogue” magazine. Her managers are flexible with her schedule so she can attend photo shoots. “They support me in all my endeavors,” she said.
For Alayzia, there’s no turning back, only opportunities ahead. “Your career is what you want it to be at Darden. All the doors are open. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, where you’ve been. All that matters is where you’re going. If you put in the work, you can go anywhere you want with Darden.”