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.