On Monday, we had the privilege of attending the Hawaii Restaurant Association Employee Excellence Awards luncheon at the Hawaii Prince Hotel which honors service industry professionals and recognizes their accomplishments.

These awards are held every year and people are nominated statewide from free standing restaurants and hotels.  They recognize the dedicated, hardworking, humble and tireless employees from both the front of the house (servers, bussers, hosts, bartenders) and the back of the house (stewards, cooks, dishwashers).

Our staff truly is the backbone of the company and without them we would not be able to do what we do on a daily basis.  They are the ones whose shoulders we rely on and the ones who create the memories for all who walk through our doors.  It has never been a singular effort that has made us successful and we are blessed to have such a wonderful team here.  Congratulations to the nominees, Yuki Yamaguchi, Andrea Yamato, Kevin Makinney and to the award winners, Mykie Ozoa, Kelly Kawachi, Jason Hicks and Tamafili Masoe!

What a fantastic achievement!  Thank you for all of your hard work and effort

~ Kerry Ichimasa, General Manager at Alan Wong's Honolulu


The Hawaii Restaurant Association Employee Excellence Awards should have been awarded to all. Though we could only nominate a few employees, we should be recognizing all for their hard work and dedication to their work and their colleagues. Working in the restaurant industry is not easy, it takes long hours, dedication, and sacrifice. And to have employees do that and put the guests, the restaurant, and others above themselves is no easy feat. It was great to see other restaurants recognize their employees as well, hopefully in a few more years, all restaurants will take the opportunity to recognize their employees.

When you sit in the audience and watch your employees go up to the stage and receive an award it's like a proud parent watching their child receive an award from the teacher or the school. And when the employee comes up to you later to thank you for taking him or her under your wing and taking the time to teach them, it makes what you do day in and day out all the more worth it. Congratulations to all finalists and winners, it is well deserved!


~ Miya Nishimura, Chef de Cuisine at Alan Wong's Honolulu