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Originally posted by Willy Franzen on March 5, 2013. Updated through a sponsorship agreement.
Posted by Willy Franzen on March 5, 2013. Positions below updated every five minutes.
Once or twice a year I’ll come across an opportunity that is so outstanding that I’d almost consider applying. When I saw a post on Facebook saying that the group behind Alinea, Next Restaurant, and The Aviary is looking for an intern (I know that you’re looking for a job, but bear with me), I dropped everything and checked out the posting (though I’m sure whatever I was doing on Facebook was obviously extremely important). I follow the Alinea and Next Restaurant accounts on Facebook because doing so gives you an inside edge on getting tickets. Yes, they sell tickets for a dining experience, and they usually sell out within hours. That tends to happen when one restaurant (Alinea) is the undisputed best restaurant in Chicago, IL and arguably the best restaurant in North America, and the other (Next Restaurant) offers one of the most exciting new concepts in fine dining. And then there’s the Aviary, a place that has transformed the cocktail into fine art.
The tag team of Grant Achatz (chef) and Nick Kokonas (business guy) is behind all three establishments, and they truly are the best at what they do. From the food to the ticketing system to the use of social media, this restaurant group has become a leader in the industry by refusing to play it safe. The financial situation for most restaurants is pretty ugly (just watch Kitchen Nightmares), yet Alinea and Next are able to collect millions of dollars in advance from patrons.
I’ve been to Next, The Aviary, and The Office (a semi-secret bar in the basement of The Aviary). Each offers a completely unique experience that takes dining to a new level. I’ll be going to Alinea in a few weeks, and I’m excited not just for the meal but to watch how they create experiences for customers. There’s a lot to learn by just watching how Alinea, Next Restaurant, and The Aviary operate, and that’s why you have to get excited about their Business Analyst Internship. It’s a paid position that will give “hands-on involvement in day-to-day financial operation of all three restaurants” and direct contact with the leadership team. Opportunities like this don’t come around often. The competition for the position will likely be fierce, but it’s well worth applying (and they will accept applications from recent graduates).
Additionally, there is a Jobs page on the Alinea website. It says they “will accept applications from highly dedicated chefs, service staff, stagiaires, and externs,” so keep that in mind if you’re more interested in the food side than the business side.
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
Have you dined at Alinea, Next Restaurant, or The Aviary?