Person of the Week

Torria Larsen

General Manager, Noodles and Company

I now understand how things happen for a reason.  Had I stayed where I was, I could never truly appreciate the incredible people and opportunities that I have found where I am today. 

1.  What led you to the mission of being a general manager?

Over the past ten years, I’ve worked in a lot of different capacities in the service industry.  What I have found is a passion for guest service.  As one can imagine, there are many different bosses working in the food service industry.  I have had some great and not so great bosses.  This drove me to be the best manager I can be.  I wanted to help people develop, reach, and exceed their goals.  Ultimately, my mission is to be a successful, happy person, have fun, and help as many people as I can along the way.

2.  What does this mission mean to you?

As a general manager, I have to “generally manage”.  However, the job does not stop with managing.  Every day, I have the opportunity to affect and touch the lives of hundreds of people.  I learn new things from both my employees and restaurant guests.   Learning, coaching, empathizing, listening, understanding, organizing are just some of the skills required to become a good general manager.  I hire, train, motivate, and care for my employees and I learn from them.  In order to succeed in my mission, I have to give and take — and give some more.

3.  What was your worst day as a general manager, and how did you survive?

My worst day was when I was working for another company and was laid off for the second time.  I had moved to a new state and expected to be with the man I’d been with for seven years. However, on this day, I found myself not having a fiancé, not having a job, having a mortgage, having a car payment, and having a choice.  My choice was simple.  I could roll over, pity myself, and ultimately give up, or shake it off, see this as a gift from God, and see this worst day as an exciting new chapter in my life.   I’m glad I chose the latter and fought. This low helped me appreciate the highs.

4.  What was your best day as a general manager?

My best day was the same as the worst day. I was soon able to find employment with a great company.  I now have the opportunity to work for Noodles and Company.  They truly care about the people who work for them and the guests they serve.  Noodles and Company has a mission greater than just making a profit.  The corporation cares about people.

This company allows me to do great things.  I started a program partnering with another service organization in the community.  We reward patients for good dental and medical check ups.  I also organize community benefits and give directly to nonprofits.  It feels good to give back  because  giving is the right thing to do.  I imagine if everyone would give a little time, energy and/or money, more people would have a chance to achieve their own missions.

I now understand how things happen for a reason.  Had I stayed where I was, I could never truly appreciate the incredible people and opportunities that I have found where I am today.

4 Comments

  1. “My best day was the same as the worst day.” Brilliant! Thank you.

    Reply

  2. Thank you. Very positive ou look. I need some of that right now.

    Reply

  3. Wow, it was wonderful to hear that instead of getting depressed about your situation that you approached it in a positive way. You were able to help yourself and then were able to help others! It shows the power of positive thinking and action!

    Reply

  4. You are an inspiration to the whole St. Louis community. Thanks for your contribution. You show the power of how people in a corporation can work together for a better world.

    Reply

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