PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., Dec. 12, 2011 — Dawn Tolley is the new manager of the Happy Days Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. In her position Tolley is responsible for the daily operations of the Happy Days Restaurant and coordinating activities between the kitchen and dining room to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. In addition she oversee the inventory and ordering of food, equipment and supplies, the cleaning of the kitchen and dining areas and she arranges for the routine maintenance and upkeep of the restaurant’s equipment and facilities. She is also responsible for the human resources functions of the business including hiring new employees, monitoring employee performance and training and scheduling employee work hours to make sure there are enough workers present to cover each shift.
Tolley is originally from Florida. She worked as a Pharmacy Tech in a nursing home in Florida, but after Hurricane Andrew her parents decided to move here and she followed them. “I was fortunate enough to find a job at Cracker Barrel,” she said. She found her niche in the restaurant business and said she really enjoyed it. “I got good training and structure at Cracker Barrel,” she said. “I stayed there eight years and then I went on to be a kitchen manager at The Golden Coral for two years. In addition to the usual kitchen manager duties, I was in charge of new menus and new recipes.”
From there Tolley went on to work for Collier Food and then left because of the hours it required and because she wanted to add more of a balance to her life. She then was hired to help open the Blue Moose Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. After a year and a half there she was approached to go to work for Belle Island. She was going to be the general manager of a barbeque restaurant in Belle Island and part of the overall management team. However after six months there wasn’t any construction happening at Belle Island and she decided to go to school for a year in medical billing and coding. She soon discovered she was not an office desk sitting kind of person and started waiting tables a couple days a week at Happy Days. “I always thought I would go back into restaurant management so when the manager position became available here I applied for it,” Tolley said. “I think Happy Days has a lot of potential. I have been making minor changes to the music, the menu and the atmosphere at Happy Days. It is fun casual dining and is a good fit for me. Timing is everything. I am really happy here. It is a great restaurant and a great crew. It is not just a job. I have 32 employees, two assistants and a kitchen manager who work for me. I have a great team and The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is a wonderful company to work for.”
Jim Hedrick, executive vice president of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment said, “Dawn is a great asset to our company. She has a lot of restaurant experience and is reliable, shows initiative and has good leadership qualities. She is a good communicator with our customers, employees and our suppliers and ensures that everyone works well together as a team and that the food and service at Happy Days are exceptional.”
Tolley lives in Sevierville. She has two dogs and enjoys shopping, watching movies, interior decorating and spending time with her family and friends when she is not working.