Rikin Lakhani has been named managing partner of Seasons 52 at South Coast Plaza, a popular fresh grill and wine bar restaurant making its West Coast debut next month.
Serving market-driven, seasonally inspired fare and an international selection of wines, Seasons 52 has enjoyed resounding success on the East Coast – capitalizing on growing consumer interest in fresher seasonal foods and unusual wines.
A seasoned industry pro well-poised to introduce Seasons 52 to Southern California, Lakhani is overseeing all operations and staffing for the first Seasons 52 west of the Mississippi and the first of the company’s California collection. The restaurant is slated to open Aug. 30, 2010, in Orange County’s internationally recognized retail destination.
Focused on assembling a top-notch staff, Lakhani has helped recruit a team of eight managers, and is now concentrating on hiring 65 service personnel, among them servers, bartenders, greeters and 35 culinary team members, including line cooks, prep and utility.
“Rikin’s congenial and thorough, hardworking approach will be essential as we work to gain a foothold in the Southern California marketplace,” said Stephen Judge, president of Seasons 52. “We are excited that he is helping to spearhead this operation for us.”
With over a decade of experience in restaurant management and operations in independent venture environments and worldwide restaurant group concepts, Lakhani is well-equipped to launch the new venue. He joined Seasons 52 in 2005 and most recently was the managing partner for the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., restaurant. His exceptional organizational skills and leadership are evidenced by an increased bottom-line growth and staff retention at all levels, as well as the creation of an optimal work environment. Prior to joining Seasons 52, he was the beverage director at Tsunami fine dining restaurant and Tsunami Resort Lounge & Nightclub in West Palm Beach, Fla. He also worked for Bacio Gelateria as a regional manager for locations in Miami and West Palm Beach.
Lakhani holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Restaurant Management from Florida International University, Miami, and earned an Introductory Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. A native of India and having lived and traveled around the globe, he is fluent in several Asian and African languages and dialects.