Today we’d like to introduce you to Andre Lira.
Andre, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hospitality is in my blood. I grew up in a kitchen. My mom was a pastry chef, and I remember her showing me how to decorate wedding cakes. I had an inherent knack for it. It must’ve been in my DNA. I actually was very good. Despite the obvious – that the hospitality/service industry was my path – I decided to go to aviation school, but realized that I couldn’t fight what my true calling was. I earned a scholarship to attend hospitality school in Spain, Palma De Mallorca. Since then, I have done it all. Front of the house, back of the house and everywhere in between, at Buddakan NYC, JW Marriott, Morton’s Steakhouse, Steak954/W Hotel, SLS, I worked it. And I worked it, hard. But, to quote the U2 song, “I still hadn’t found what I was looking for,” so I went in search of the Holy Hospitality Grail, only to discover it didn’t exist. There was this standard of service that had a high bar, yet no one seemed to be able to reach out and grab that golden ring. So, I had an idea to create a staffing agency that would deliver a luxury level of service, every time, on time, and, at the right time.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Well, there is probably nothing about being in the hospitality business that is smooth, except for the way it looks. If you do it, right, it looks seamless. What can I say? I love a challenge. And the satisfaction it brings when you know our staff made a difference to our clients. The struggle and challenge is that we sell human resources, and, like everyone, our staff members have lives, like everyone else (they wake up sick, they have kids or aging parents to take care of) the agency must still perform at its peak, and be ahead of the game. The responsibility to our client is very important, regardless of what life brings. I feel like the man behind the curtain some days – The Wizard of Oz, because clients never know what’s going on, nor should they be aware of any problems. So, EPIC has to be adaptable to whatever curveball is thrown our way. The way to do this is to always be prepared and, not only have a Plan A and B, but have a Plan C, D, and even E if necessary, for every assignment. Our goal is to fulfill and exceed our client expectations.
Please tell us about Epic Staffing Agency.
Epic Staffing Agency is an elite, event & convention staffing and executive recruitment services. We’re known for our impeccable service, and our service roster that features some of the most recognizable Fortune 500 businesses. We set the standard for industry staffing and recruitment because of our consistency of service. What sets us apart is our original formula, EPIC University, a one of a kind results-oriented training program that makes sure our team members are consistent across the board. We don’t just recruit talent, we look for personality, and that’s something that we can’t teach, but we sure can pick ’em out of a crowd.
If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
The most important lesson I have learned, or what I would have done differently in all these years is to Just Believe in your dreams and work hard for it. Even the mistakes are part of the journey. When you love what you do, in the end, everything turns out OK.
Epic Staffing Agency
MIA – NY