Friends With Benefits: Hitoshi Yuhara
Although Hitoshi Yuhara was studying to be a psychologist, he found himself gravitating toward his job in the food and beverage industry. “It’s one of the most candid settings that you can be in with others,” he said. “Dealing with staff and guests, bringing all those personalities together was something that I fell in love with.”
He stuck with the industry and landed his first management role at just 21 years old at a restaurant in his hometown of L.A. Over the years he worked at different restaurants, and at the end of 2014 moved to Las Vegas and joined Caesars Palace. He started at Bacchanal Buffet and five months later moved over to Old Homestead Steakhouse, where you’ll find him today in the role of general manager.
“I’m responsible for managing the culture here, and that’s something that’s huge within food and beverage at Caesars Palace—building a positive culture,” Yuhara said.
Besides his responsibilities at Old Homestead, Yuhara is also the property’s leader for the Code Green Program, an environmental program practiced at all of Caesars Entertainment properties across the nation, aimed at running business responsibly by reducing waste, recycling and reducing water use. “Every business that I worked at in L.A. took part in some type of green program, so when the position opened up here I jumped on it,” Yuhara said.
He doesn’t mind taking on a leadership role and helping to create a positive experience, especially at Old Homestead. “It’s all about the entire experience; not just food, not just service, but the whole experience—something that people can write home about.”
Recently, Yuhara and the bartenders have been working on making seasonal changes to the cocktail menu—rolling out nine new specialty concoctions, including the Roman Elixir. “This cocktail is very refreshing with citrus and grapefruit notes, and the champagne adds a lightness to the cocktail,” says Yuhara. It’s mixed with Absolut Elyx vodka, Cartron pamplemousse rose grapefruit liqueur, St.-Germain elderflower liqueur, Fee Brothers lemon bitters and lemon juice, and is finished with Perrier-Jouët champagne. For a special treat, strawberry-flavored cocktail caviar rests in the bottom of the glass.
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