Native Phoenician Bryan Folz is the General Manager of our N. Scottsdale & Acoma restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. He's only been with MAD Greens a few months but his infectious enthusiasm and leadership is an incredible asset to our Arizona teams. We recently chatted with Bryan -- or Bry or B as he's known to friends -- to find out how things have been going since joining MAD Greens and pick his brain about what he's learned and what advice he has to share.
What were you doing before joining MAD Greens?
"Looking for MADGreens!"
Is this really true or are you just making it up because we're featuring you in the next 'Behind The Greens'?
"I really was! Prior to working at MAD Greens, I was in the Full Service Restaurant Industry. I've held various positions from Restaurant Captain to Food and Beverage Director of a Golf Resort. But something was missing...I wasn't satisfied. Then Braun (our MAD Greens Arizona Area Manager) approached me and introduced the MAD Greens concept and I fell in love and had to apply. I was drawn most to the culture and the idea of fresh, clean, healthy eating. You realize things taste better when they are better for you. It's a natural progression I've seen many of my friends and family assume."
What is your favorite thing about MAD Greens?
"The Team Members. Without them, there wouldn't be MAD Greens. The staff at Acoma and Scottsdale is as diverse as our salads. Some are a little sweet, some a little salty...And I mean this in the best way possible! I love that we have a good "flow". Everybody enjoys each others' company and we all love to laugh. I think that our Scottsdale & Acoma "family" strives to be the best, and no one is afraid to help anyone else out. One store, one team!"
Pictured: Bryan (right) and some of the Scottsdale & Acoma team members during a routine pre-shift meeting.
Other than team work, are there any other secrets to your restaurant's success?
"I like to foster a very positive environment and I think the staff appreciates that and mirrors it back to the guest. I've noticed that hospitality is always their main goal when those doors open and that's a dedication that's hard to get at most restaurants."
Are there any fun or unique MAD Greens moments youd like to share?
"Being a Manager In Training was pretty intense. It was an incredible challenge to open two new stores as Assistant General Manager and then I was promoted to General Manager, all in a total of 11 weeks. Whew that was a lot of hours!"
Pictured: Bryan chats with guests during the Hilton Village Free Salad Day
in September 2015.
What is your favorite MAD Greens salad and why?
"It's a toss up (get it?) between a Ty Cobb and a Siam I Am which I know are from opposite ends of the salad spectrum. The Cobb is yummy, savory and sometimes not-so-healthy depending on the amount of bacon used while the Siam is an uber delicious protein power pack!"
Do you have any special salad creations you make that arent on the menu?
"I'm a huge quinoa fan. I've been eating it for almost 20 years, so my special salad creation would be two scoops of quinoa, southwest grilled chicken, bacon, roasted corn, spicy pecans and sriracha almond dressing. Kind of like my own little protein power pack!"
Pictured: Bryan (right) and some of his Scottsdale & Acoma team members celebrate a Lucky Crouton
grand prize winner in November 2015.
If you were stranded on an island and only allowed to bring one ingredient from the MAD Greens salad line to live off of, what would it be?
"Spinach. That probably sounds boring, but it's the iron content I'd be looking for to stay alive."
Speaking of travel, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
"Thailand. Because it's a land full of amazing food!"
Do you cook at home?
"I love to cook. Can't cook enough. My favorite dishes to make is either my homemade traditional Lasagne or some sort of healthy quinoa dish."
Recipe: Bry's Spanish Quinoa
1 c. organic quinoa
2 c. organic vegetable/chicken broth
1 tbl. cumin
1 tbl. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 minced fresh cloves
1 onion - diced
2-3 roma tomatoes - diced and drained
green onions - garnish
Lightly coat your pan with olive oil. Sweat your onions until transluscent over medium high heat. Add garlic (if using fresh), and saute for approx. 1 minute. Add quinoa and lightly "toast" with onions and garlic. Add broth and all other ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and cook on low for approx. 20 minutes. (Quinoa is tricky, so pay attention to not over cook!) Serve piping hot topped with chopped green onions as a garnish.
Pictured: Spanish Quinoa is one of Bryan's favorite, easy quinoa recipes.
Whats your favorite utensil in the MAD Greens kitchen and why?
"The tomato slicing knife. I feel like a samurai when I utilize it."
Whats something that a lot of people dont know about you?
I was a ballet dancer for 13 years...Five of these professionally at a small independent company in Sedona that's no longer around. I started as an adult even though I had always been interested in it. My favorite ballet to perform has to the be The Nutcracker. There are so many different dances, all equally hard, yet exciting. It's one youd never get sick of watching. But if I had to choose an absolute favorite to watch, I couldn't. I love them all."
What do team members need to succeed at MAD Greens?
"A big old cheesy, ear-to-ear smile is definitely important. A big smile makes everything better."