Friends with Benefits: Michelle Rizzo of Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Sales and marketing manager Michelle Rizzo has been part of the fabric of Lawry’s The Prime Rib for more than a dozen years. The restaurant, which planted roots in L.A. more than 75 years ago, opened its Las Vegas location in 1997 and brought with it a long history of uniquely serving prime rib. “It’s dinner and a show,” says Rizzo. “Expert carvers carve the prime rib tableside from the gleaming silver carts. The carts are also known as the ‘Cadillac of serving carts’ because they cost almost the price of a Cadillac to make them.”
Other theatrical experiences—ask about the spinning bowl salad—are just some of the fun and unique benefits that guests enjoy. And when it comes to celebrating special occasions and throwing parties at Lawry’s, that’s when Rizzo steps in, helping create those memories.
Rizzo has been in the industry since she was 16, working as a server in her home state of Iowa. She decided to move to Las Vegas after visiting. “If I’m going to wait tables, Vegas is the place to wait tables, not Iowa,” she says. A few months after landing here in 1995, she joined Morton’s The Steakhouse, where after three years she was promoted from server to associate sales and marketing manager. After 12 years there, she joined Lawry’s to continue her career. “I love the restaurant industry, period. It’s exciting. It’s my job basically to put butts in seats,” she says, laughing. In other words, she’s helping generate revenue for the restaurant.
After so many years in the hospitality industry, more than 20 of those years spent in Vegas, Rizzo has learned that “you have to have a strong work ethic to work in a restaurant,” she says. “You really, really do. If you’re lazy, it’s not going to work. You have to have hospitality. Relationship building is really important, especially in my position—it’s those relationships and the referrals you receive. You know, ‘Call Michelle at Lawry’s, she’s got you.’”
Libation: Pomegranate Martini
New for the holiday season, Lawry’s just introduced the Pomegranate Martini, a mix of pomegranate vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, pomegranate purée and cranberry juice. Guests can enjoy the cocktail—or beer on tap, wines and other trendsetting drinks—inside Lawry’s art deco-designed bar and lounge area, where you can also dine on the full menu. And ask about Lawry’s long history and list of 75 fun facts—a great way to be entertained while sipping your cocktail.
Benefit: Throughout December, Lawry’s hires carol singers to serenade diners during the holiday season.
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