In an effort to show our gratitude and appreciation for the exceptional professionals on staff here at the Inn at Honey Run and Tarragon, we run a monthly feature here on the website to introduce our guests and readers to the people that make it all happen. Every month we introduce you to one of our talented and hardworking team members, each of whom is directly responsible for the exceptional guest experience and quality customer service here on the property.
Few aspects of the guest experience here at Honey Run are as memorable and impactful as a fine dining experience at Tarragon, our gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar. Our service staff pays great attention to detail and customer service while crafting a warm, inviting luxury dining experience with views of the neighboring forest and hills.
We get so many wonderful comments and reviews from guests who have been dazzled by their visit to Tarragon, we decided our next Team Feature should introduce a face many will recognize from the dining room; Tauni Woods, our Assistant Director of Dining Services.
Tauni joined Tarragon and the Inn at Honey Run in July of 2014, coming from an extensive background in the food and beverage industry. Her first job was a restaurant hostess at the age of 14 and she put in many hours as a server and bartender in the years that followed, absorbing the ins and outs of hospitality and service. For Tauni, that time spent working with some amazing chefs, restaurant managers, and dining service directors taught her a great deal about how to handle a busy dining room and the proper positive attitude for greeting each day with patience and presence. “The hardest lesson for me was not to take things too personally,” she told us of her early years in the restaurant business. “Sometimes people say unpleasant things when they’re hungry. We have to be compassionate; we’re all human and sometimes say things we don’t mean.”
In her role at Tarragon, Tauni oversees the dining staff and ensures an excellent standard of service is maintained from breakfast to lunch and dinner. She is an excellent motivator, keeping everyone focused and calm when things get busy. In addition to her administrative duties in the dining room of Tarragon, Tauni organizes the many catering opportunities around the Inn. Corporate and private events are often hosted in our outdoor TreeTop Pavilion or the Sage Room on the lower level of the Inn. These often include formal catering and food service, for which Tauni is often chiefly responsible.
For Tauni, the best part about her work at Honey Run is the interaction with so many diverse and lovely people. She says, “I love to hear about why guests are visiting or what they’ve seen so far on their trip. I get to learn something about them and offer suggestions for other local attractions that may interest them.”
While daily service is the bulk of her daily activities, Tauni revels in the opportunities to participate in a guest’s birthday or anniversary celebration, which are common among visitors to the Inn for a romantic weekend getaway.
Of these, Tauni says, her favorite memorable experience is also the most romantic. “I had a gentleman wave me over to his table early one Friday evening. He told me he had a ring to give his wife because it was their 50th wedding anniversary and he wanted it to be special. He also wanted his dining attendant to take a picture at the very moment of his wife’s surprise. I had his dining attendant prepared for the big reveal when he presented his wife of 50 years with a beautiful diamond ring and we got a great photo of the moment. When I went over to speak with them afterward, he told me he had never given his wife an engagement ring so, exactly 50 years after they said their vows, he finally gave her a ring. The most rewarding part is having the knowledge that my team and I made it possible to have that special moment captured in a photograph for them to share with their family and friends or to look back on periodically and remember their time together.”
These moments where our team gets to share special occasions and memories with guests are what make our job so wonderful here at Honey Run. We value the human connections that we make here every single day. Tauni’s words to live by are “Teamwork makes the dream work.” She borrowed the term from a favorite former manager and brought it to Tarragon where it can be heard several times throughout any given day as the team continues to motivate and uplift one another in the service of our shared dream of providing the best possible guest experience imaginable.
To meet Tauni and the rest of our Tarragon Staff, reserve a table for dinner service this week and savor the flavors of Tarragon.