Serena Wong, operations manager of Momofuku Restaurant Group, was chosen for the Power List by CEO Marguerite Mariscal because of how she guided the organization through pandemic pivots, including the creation of a shared COVID-19 operations manual. Here’s what else Mariscal had to say:
Serena Wong led the creation of the COVID operations manual and has been instrumental in helping our restaurants make it through this year. She originally came on to project-manage new restaurant openings but pivoted to project managing the various stages of COVID restrictions we went through.
Nation’s Restaurant News talked with Serena Wong about navigating the challenges of 2020 and building a diverse, people-first company culture. Here’s what she had to say:
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the challenges of 2020?
Many of us are used to having answers, or at least knowing how to solve for them, but this year has taught me that all you can do is choose the path that you think is the least wrong and then pivot when necessary.
I believe our leadership has made decisions with the team’s best interest in mind. Even amid financial stress, it was impactful that leadership made the decision to reopen only after we’ve thought through how to operate as safely as possible. The push to create the health and safety manual and then share it with others said a lot to me about our company’s priorities.
Though 2020 devastated everyone in the restaurant industry, I’m excited to see what comes out of so much adversity. It felt like everyone developed an “everything is fair game” mentality in terms of what a restaurant is capable of producing. This is only the starting point of redefinition.