Education Sessions Schedule

What Makes Me Stay - Restaurant Employees Speak Up

Why speculate about employees wants and needs when you can hear it directly from them? A panel of long-term service industry employees get real on culture, communication, tools, and what makes them stay in our industry. 


Monday, July 16, 2018


11:00am - 12:00pm


Big Bend Big Ideas Stage


KC Hensley, In The Weeds
Philip Coggins, Phlipside Records / District Distilling
Nicole Palmer, Texas Restaurant Association
Amanda Rose, Chuy's


kc hensley

KC Hensley

Kc Hensley founded a group called In The Weeds, which is a positive, productive and professional forum for service industry people to connect with one another and grow within the industry. His mission is to better the lives of employees within the hospitality industry. He accomplishes this through advocacy, community, positivity, and education. Kc has been in the service industry for over 14 years and has been a dishwasher all the way through owner and consultant.

Philip Coggins

Philip Coggins

Phlip Coggins has been involved in both the Service and Music Industry for the last 21 years. In that time he has held every position in both fields, helped open up countless venues including 5 in Austin in the past year and a half, created a myriad of beverage programs, developed recipes, managed teams of employees, run several successful companies including a studio that produced Texas Chart topping hits, bridged gaps between both industries, and supported countless individuals to reach their goals and find success in two fields that are equally challenging and passion driven. His view of music and service are closely tied to the same principle: the fulfillment of individuals needs for sustenance and replenishment both literally and figuratively. Hospitality and Service to those in need.

Nicole Palmer

Nicole Palmer has been a dedicated member of the service and hospitality industry for over a decade. She began her career as a hostess at Chili’s at age 16, and has experienced everything FOH including serving, bartending, catering events and weddings. She has been a part of the Marketing team at the Texas Restaurant Association for over a year and loves the opportunities TRA gives to support restaurants. Nicole is a proud Bobcat, earning a degree in Digital Media Innovation and Media from Texas State University, and plans to continue involvement in the industry through marketing, photography, and journalism. Her favorite thing about the service and hospitality industry is the sense of community, as many of her coworkers have become more like family. 

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose has been in the service industry since she was 16, where she started as a hostess for Sizzler in Southern California. She landed in Austin in 2016 by way of Mexico, the Bahamas, and Chicago. Having served and tended bar everywhere from island beaches to Halas Hall (the home of the Chicago Bears), she specializes in high-volume, high-energy service, which is why being a server trainer at Chuy’s is now the perfect fit for her.