Staff Spotlight: Amy Allen

Every day is different for assistant manager Amy Allen and after nearly 25 years, she has learned to anticipate the variety.

“I always come up with three plans,” said Allen. “A, B, and C, because plan A never works. It’s like a puzzle trying to organize and fit everything in place.”

Allen’s puzzle is Maplestreet Station where she is in charge of ordering food, assisting in menu planning, and taste-testing. She also works with student employees between scheduling and other tasks.

“You don’t really know what’s going to happen from year to year,” said Allen. “Students’ tastes change and it’s important that our chefs and our executive managers work to find out what students really want. Every year is different.”

Allen is a serious and hard-working manager who leads by example, but also recognizes her role with student employees. She holds everybody to an equally high standard.

“I deal a lot with the student managers, in helping them and guiding them in their role at Maplestreet,” said Allen. “I try to teach them life skills, like why it’s important to be on time. Why it’s important to come prepared to work. Why work and how it’s going to help you in the long-run. The skills they learn here are transferrable to whatever job they might have whether it’s marketing or teaching.”

Allen got her first taste of food service working at McDonald’s. She then moved to work in retail for nearly 15 years before applying for a food service position at Miami University. She got the job and, 10 years later, is still working in dining services.

“Everybody has a story. Everybody has a path and a choice,” said Allen. “[Students] sometimes just see me as a dining manager, but I have other stuff going on in my life too that I don’t think they see.”

Allen is an avid reader, particularly of murder mysteries, and enjoys dining out for new menu ideas. Allen also shares something with her student employees and many of her patrons. She’s a student herself.

“I take two classes a semester and I am working towards a business degree,” said Allen. “When [students] talk about taking a test, I know what they’re talking about because I’m in the same boat as them.”

Whether she’s falling back to her “B” or “C” plan for the day, or she is trying to accommodate the tastes of the changing student body from year to year, Allen enjoys the variety working at Miami offers.

“Maybe we have full-time staff that attend training or maybe they have a doctor’s appointment or a student has an exam they forgot about,” said Allen. “I’m moving people around to meet the needs of all the operations throughout the day. It’s like a puzzle. Every day is a different day.”

The Hard Questions

Favorite dish to prepare? To eat?

PrepareTo prepare … this is old school, but swiss steak, only because that’s my husband’s favorite.

EatFried chicken and mashed potatoes.

What’s your favorite TV show?

I would say The Big Bang Theory. I’ve just now started watching Lethal Weapon too. 

Cat or dog? Both, because I have both. My dog, who is almost 10, is now the father of a 6-month old kitten that we brought home, so he isn’t happy with us.  

Cake or pie? Pie.

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