Second Helper – Cobb County Courier
By Brian Benefield
I have some unique food stories to tell, but first I have to say that being a waiter in a restaurant should be something everyone experiences at some point. That way, for the rest of your life, while dining out, you will empathize with the difficulty and demand of this job.
I was a waiter, bartender, cook, manager in that order for many years in my twenties, and it taught me a lot that I would use for the rest of my life. Learning to read your guests, anticipate their needs and be hospitable, this is the raison d’Ãªtre of the company. Hospitality has been lost in large corporate restaurant chains that offer mediocre food and lackluster service.
I very much admire the individuals and families who own / run their restaurant because it is not a glamorous, flashy business as the cooking shows on TV show. A commercial kitchen is a hot, demanding, fast-paced, and exhausting environment and not for the faint of heart. We are fortunate enough in Cobb County to have such a wide and diverse selection of local restaurants, and I will share their stories.
My wife, Cecilie, and I took a food walking tour in 2012 in San Francisco and got hooked on the concept. We knew this type of tour would work well in our hometown of Marietta, Georgia.
After doing several more tours, we heard through the vineyard that Food Tour Pros in Chicago was the perfect place to pick up some knowledge, so we took a leap of faith and headed for the Windy City at the start of 2014.
Owner Shane Kost also owns one of America’s most extensive food tours – Chicago food planet; we had people in our training class from Nashville, Tennessee, and Taipei, Taiwan.
We launched the Marietta Square Food Tour later in 2014 and got to know many restaurant owners and passed on their colorful and sometimes amazing stories about their passion for the restaurant industry while providing our tour guests lots of tasty food along the way.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, I started writing more blogs on our website to help the struggling restaurant community promote their businesses and show how they pivot by offering different weekly family meals, dishes take out and curbside options.
I enjoyed writing so much that I took an online course from acclaimed author Joshua Fields Milburn of The Minimalists.
We recently sold the company, which operated the Food Tours for seven years, to Lindsey Coleman, owner of the Ghosts of Marietta Tours.
I’m a rare Atlanta native and Second Helping in the South refers to getting a second serving of food that I plan to feed you in the form of stories behind the kitchen: getting to know your neighbor who owns. the cafe where you had a first date, celebrated your mom’s birthday, serves the mouthwatering dish you crave and why they love to do what they do.
The pandemic in many ways has decimated the restaurant industry, so the next time you dine there or go out, remember to have a little patience, tip generously, and most importantly, be kind.
Brian Benefield is originally from Atlanta, born in Dekalb County.
He has lived in Cobb since 2003.
He has worked in hospitality, marketing, real estate and, more recently, food tourism. Married to Cecilie Benefield for 12 happy years and father of a dog, Miss Pickles.
Hobbies are mountain biking, running, gardening, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen
Member of Les Marmissions Cooking Club since 2016, where we cook 5-course meals with local Atlanta chefs.