When the Iron Hill West Chester location completed major renovations during 2017, it was imperative that both loyal guests and new visitors felt at home in the remodeled interior. While the flow of the restaurant was changed and the new design of the bar allowed a more detailed look at the brewhouse and beer production that was being completed inside, it was critical to keep one thing very consistent… the Iron Hill commitment to a high quality guest experience. Over the past two years, the person taking the lead on delivering on that brand promise has been General Manager Amanda Lober. She has driven the local team to new heights and demonstrated what it takes to be a leader both inside and outside of the restaurant.
Mandy’s success at Iron Hill did not happen overnight, she has been delivering positive guest experiences since she began her career as a server in Newark while studying biology at the University of Delaware over ten years ago. Shortly after spending some time behind the bar, she made the move to an administrative assistant role after her graduation. Always the go-getter, she took on some “extra” projects with the IT department that led to a full-time role in the corporate office before feeling the desire to get back into the restaurant space day-to-day. Mandy left Iron Hill for a year to explore new opportunities in Wilmington’s restaurant scene but followed her heart and returned home. Starting in 2014, she grew from an entry level manager to a General Manager in just four years. Most recently, for her outstanding efforts in 2018, she was named the Iron Hill General Manager of the Year.
Spending time in Newark, Media, Wilmington, Phoenixville and now West Chester; Mandy credits the hard work of the staff in each location and mentors like Regional Managers Clint Wagner and Michelle Wilson for teaching her the ropes. Clint provided a level of trust that allowed her to push the envelope when needed, always reminding her of the importance for work/life balance to deliver at peak levels. In addition, Michelle has always offered insights and a listening ear as not only a growing Iron Hill leader, but also a working mom. This additional role being one that can often get overlooked in the rush of every day.
Mandy places great emphasis on the following areas as an organizational leader…
- Focus on your people- BOTH guests and employees. She encourages her staff to write down notes after meeting guests; making meaningful connections and better understanding them as people. She wants the staff and loyal guest base to feel like family when inside the restaurant.
- Bring the energy… ALWAYS. To provide a direct quote, “I think some of the staff thinks I’m nuts.” Amanda’s enthusiasm can be heard and felt on a personal level; she works extremely hard to keep staff members engaged. She truly believes that having fun at work should not be the exception, but a rule.
- Be committed and focus on execution. To demonstrate this point, Mandy has even been working in the kitchen one day a week, getting closer to the ingredients and the process of what Iron Hill does in a scratch kitchen. She believes that if you want the staff to care about the details, you need to demonstrate the commitment yourself.
- Accountability and consistency. Amanda never asks a staff member to do something that she wouldn’t do herself. She holds herself to a high standard and attempts to treat everybody on the team in the same respectful manner.
Amanda Lober is working to create a culture that benefits our guests and employees alike. Her hope is that Iron Hill West Chester is perceived as a trusted community partner and delivers a positive brand experience to our guests each and every time through our front door; while not forgetting the connection that these same values bring to her family at home.