Danielle Leoni, Assistant General Manager · Fresco
Danielle's first foray into the restaurant world was as a busser in her hometown in Michigan. A musically inclined 16 year old, Danielle took her first job to fund a class trip to Carnegie Hall. She was hooked almost immediately at the interview for this job when the hiring manager told her that each table was her very own stage to direct. Danielle recalled, "When I left that interview, that same manager shook my hand and 'welcomed me to the show.' It sort of tugged on my heart strings. It's that kind of love for this business I've always remembered." Since her humble bussing job, she's worked every other restaurant job she could get her hands on. From working saute in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant to working a food truck at farmers' markets to managing numerous other spots and helping friends open their own places, the adventure of everyday restaurant life kept her coming back for more. Now, as one who truly appreciates the service industry and all that it offers, Danielle never tires of the newness that everyday brings and loves the people she gets to share this experience with. Most of all, she appreciates the responsibility she holds to make the customer's experience as perfect as possible. "We spend our entire restaurant careers trying to perfect moments: anniversaries, first dates, birthdays and girls' nights out and my entire job is to be a part of these moments. Restaurant people may often spend holidays away from home working our tails off but, at the end of the day, we all just want to be able to look at our customers and simply say "enjoy" and with full belief, know that they will. We get to be a part of that." Danielle joined Food Fight when she took a job as a server at Delmonico's in the spring of 2012. She has since gotten to see many of the people she's worked alongside become managers and restaurateurs around town. Whether she walks into Cento, Coopers, Dlux or any other Madison hotspot, she knows she'll be met with the smiling face and warm welcome of someone she truly calls family.