Allen Hastings, general manager of the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores has won the 2016 Restaurant Manager of the Year Award presented by the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance. The 17th Annual Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner honored Hastings along with others in Alabama’s lodging, tourism, and restaurant industry at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa in Montgomery, Ala on September 26, 2016.
Hastings began his career in hospitality washing dishes as a teenager at the Original Oyster House in 1991 but quickly moved up the ladder to cook, shift leader and then into management. He has held management positions in both Gulf Shores and Mobile locations and has been an important part of the company growth over several decades. As the general manager of the Gulf Shores location, Hastings oversees all aspects of the restaurant operation and serves over 2,000 guests daily during the season. He is a dedicated family man who loves deep sea fishing and camping.
Hastings found early in his career that working at the Original Oyster House is a great fit because he loves to cook, loves to mentor others and especially loves service work. Hastings’ excellence in customer service has helped brand the Original Oyster House as one of the top referral restaurants for vacationers. He lives the Original Oyster House mission of exceeding customer expectations. "We are all in the ministry of service,” states Hastings.
Hastings’ service work extends far beyond the restaurant kitchen and into his community. Back in 2000, Hastings was baptized at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope and met Deacon O’Brian. Although at the time Hastings was hesitant to be involved, Deacon O’Brian convinced him to administer to the sick. Six months into his volunteerism visiting the sick, Deacon O’Brian suddenly passed away. The impact of their relationship changed his life and what started as a burden became a blessing. He has been visiting the sick weekly ever since and cherishes the opportunity to pray and talk to the sick. He also became a Life Teen volunteer about 6 years ago, working with the youth of St. Lawrence. Hastings is always the first to offer help and regularly shows up at fundraisers to cook for crowds. Hastings attributes his career, his spiritual growth and his love of service to his mentors Mary Lou and Joe Roszkowski, co-owners of the Original Oyster House, whom he considers family.
Each year the Stars of the Industry accepts nominations from across the state of Alabama to find the "best of the industry” in various categories. The Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance is a non-profit corporation dedicated to serve the needs of the foodservice hospitality industry in the state of Alabama. The Association provides educational programs, membership services, legislative and government relations, informational services, and promotes the industry for its members. For more information visit www.arhaonline.com.
The Original Oyster House has become the "must-go-to” place for great fresh Gulf seafood, service and southern hospitality and for its panoramic waterfront sunsets. A top-spot for hand-shucked and fire-grilled oysters, the Original Oyster House has also become legendary for its homemade gumbo, cheesy grits with blackened shrimp, as well as handcrafted desserts including its famous Peanut Butter Pie. The Original Oyster House (OOH) has two locations, Mobile: 3733 Battleship Parkway, on the Causeway and Gulf Shores: 701 Hwy 59 on the Original Oyster House Boardwalk. Both locations offer spectacular waterfront views and have been celebrated as the area’s finest family restaurants for 33+ years. For more information about the Original Oyster House, visit www.originaloysterhouse.com or call 251-928-2620.