When he was young, Tim Krantz wanted
to be a doctor so he could take care of people.
But that dream never came true for the
Instead, Krantz has spent the last 22
years working in the restaurant industry, taking care of his employees and
As the director of operations for
eight Olive Garden restaurants in the Northwest, Krantz’s bosses also noticed
last fall how well he took care of everyone. His territory includes restaurants
in Kennewick, Yakima, Spokane, East Wenatchee, Bend, Boise, Coeur
d’Alene and Nampa.
Krantz earned a Diamond Club award
last September. It’s one of the top honors presented at parent company Darden
Restaurants. He was one of five directors of operations selected from more than
100 Olive Garden regions in the country.
Krantz was recognized for his
commitment to delivering guest experiences at the highest level, while making a
difference in the lives of guests and team members, as well as in his
community, according to Darden.
This was the first time Krantz
received the honor.
“You know, the award just reflects all
of my team,” he said. “On our team, we treat everyone in the business as
Darden Restaurants is a huge company.
It operates eight restaurant chains, including Olive Garden, under its
umbrella. It runs more than 1,500 restaurants and employs more than 150,000
people, making it the world’s largest full-service restaurant company.
As of May 2018, there were 892 Olive
Gardens around the world, with an annual revenue of $3.8 billion, well over
half of all Darden Restaurant revenues.
Krantz doesn’t think about those
numbers, though. He thinks about the people.
It’s why he loves the hospitality
“It’s a combination of things,” Krantz
said. “For one, you get to go to work and change people’s lives on a daily
basis. No. 2 is the guests. I absolutely love taking care of people. Which is
why I wanted to be a doctor.
“You have to have (the passion) in
your heart. And you have to be able to anticipate needs. You have to access
what those needs are. People will always come for the food. But they come back
more frequently for the service. It is value you are creating.”
Krantz has impressed his bosses.
“Tim is a dedicated and enthusiastic
leader, who embodies our core values,” said Dan Kiernan, president of Olive
Garden, in a news release. “His passion is running great restaurants and
developing stellar restaurant leaders makes him an exceptional director within
the Olive Garden family.”
Krantz grew up in the Tri-Cities,
working at Red Lobster while earning his associate of arts degree at Columbia
Basin College in Pasco.
“My hosting job at Red Lobster was my
first real restaurant job,” Krantz said. “I put myself through school. My
family couldn’t afford to help me. I had paid my own way through school with
tips. I was working at Red Lobster, Red Robin and going to school full time.”
Then Krantz decided to take some time
away from school. It was then he realized where his heart was.
“I loved the hospitality business so
much that I went into management at an early age,” he said. “I loved it. I have
always loved it.”
He worked his way up at Red Lobster to
managing a restaurant in California.
He was with Red Lobster for 16 years
and said he was very loyal to the company.
“But I had been trying for 10 years to
get home to Washington from the California store I was running,” he said. “I
wanted to be close to my family. Everybody who knew me knew that.”
The move to Olive Garden happened
almost six years ago.
“For years, when I worked at Red
Lobster, my wife was working at Olive Garden,” Krantz said. “We couldn’t work
in the same restaurant.” (At that time, Red Lobster was also owned by Darden,
but has since been sold to another company).
Krantz said he would come in and eat
at Olive Garden when his wife was working, and he saw the interaction of the
employees with the customers. He was impressed.
Then a mentor he admired joined Olive
Garden. He followed her.
“She helped to create a way for me to
get home to my family,” he said. “An opening occurred in Tacoma. It was a
godsend. I was only thee and a half hours from my family. I could do that. We
accepted that offer and I was ready to be in Tacoma.”
Then things changed again. And he gets
emotional telling the story.
“But then they came back at me and
said, ‘Tim, how about if we put you back in Richland?’ ”
That was 2013. Krantz accepted the
“My dream job has always been to be a
director of operations,” he said.
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