With 9 locations, 15 years in business, and an undeniable passion for food, Bento Cafe doesn’t have plans to slow down anytime soon.
Without the 500 team members across all nine stores, the restaurant group couldn’t be where it is today. We take a look at the people who make everything possible at Bento in this interview series.
In this post we talk to Adam, Clarisse, and Jon to get a better idea of what life at Bento is really like.
District Manager for Gainesville
What’s an average day working at Bento like for you?
My day-to-day is a lot of communication; both between the staff in Gainesville, as well as people across the company.
I am at both Newberry and Archer locations almost every day, and handle some of the behind the scenes work.
I’m also part of training and coaching the new wave of managers, and looking for new ways to get the name out to more people who may not have tried us before.
Tell us something that many people wouldn’t know about Bento:
Everything is prepped and made in house using the freshest ingredients and high quality meats. All of our sauces are family recipes. Our meats are all cut and marinated in the stores. There’s so much that goes into each and every order, it’s fascinating to think about the entire process from start to finish.
What do you enjoy the most about being part of the Bento team?
The ability to make a change and have input in a company as large as we are. I can make a suggestion, and if it’s good, it’s implemented.
Store Manager at the UCF location
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role here at Bento:
I’m Clarisse, born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. I started as a server assistant at Bento, before becoming a traveling shift lead between the Downtown and Sandlake locations in Orlando.
Why do you think Bento has been so successful for 15 years?
The big bosses really spend the time and the money to take care of the company.
Every small detail matters, whether it’s having one-on-one conversations with employees to mentor them, to tweaking recipes, to making everything look aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and developing new ideas through marketing and blogs, etc.
Everything is on point to the T, and if it’s not they get down to the root of the problem and fix it.
What’s your go-to food and drink order at Bento?
Szechuan beef soup with no noodles, side of rice, add bean sprouts, and extra scallions.
For boba, it’s the blended ice lychee with lychee jellies.
Where do you see Bento 5 years from now?
Taking over every inch of Florida.
Head of the Sushi Department at the Sand Lake location
Can you please introduce yourself, and tell us how long you’ve been part of the Bento family?
My name is Jon and I’ve been working here for almost 6 years now.
How did your journey at Bento begin?
I moved down to Florida from Michigan when I was 20 years old with my mom and two little sisters.
My mom actually owns the nail salon that is right next door to this Bento. That’s how I first discovered Bento and applied. I started as a dishwasher, and slowly worked my way up.
What do you hope for your future at Bento?
I want to move up in the company as high as I can. When I first started working here, I never would have thought I’d be in the position that I’m in now.
Being with the company for a long time, I’ve seen the growth and I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of this process.
What’s your favorite part of being at Bento?
My favorite part of being at Bento is the bonds I’ve built with coworkers and my sushi crew. There’s something about working through a crazy rush, that makes the crew closer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of our interview series! Be on the lookout for our next set of Bento employees we’ll be spotlighting soon. Are there any other questions you’d like to see in this interview set? Tell us in the comments section!