What does he do?
Brane Poledica is the general manager at Quattro and Vinoteca at the Four Seasons Hotel. A native of Bosnia, he moved to Houston in 1996 after fleeing the war in his home country. His duties include everything from increasing revenue, promotions, marketing, booking bands for the restaurant, managing payroll and training staff.
"When you're running a restaurant you should be available at all times," he said. "Even when you are off work. Basically you try to do everything."
Why does he like it?
"You often have to deal with different guests, different requests," says Poledica. "You have to please the guests and please the employees. It's a circle. If you please the employees they'll please the guests."
"You never get bored. There's always something going on."
What inspires him?
"I am inspired by food, but I get really excited around people," he said. "Interacting with them, exchanging thoughts, exchanging feedback. When you are in the service industry you are 24 hours on the stage. Your mentors are your coworkers and customers. All the time, you are getting feedback from them."
If not this, then what?
Poledica didn't set out to work in the restaurant industry. He said it was his "hobby". He was working at a coffee shop while in college studying physics, but had to flee Bosnia, and his studies, in 1992. He lived as a refugee in Slovenia for a few years before moving to Houston in 1996. At the time he didn't speak any English.
"I studied physics because it was an area where you could get a job very quick. It took me two to three years to learn English. For me, it was more logical to focus on my hobby."
If not here, then where?
Poledica is now a full-time resident of the United States. His children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, were both born here.
"Houston is a very welcoming city. The more time you spend here, the more it gets into your blood. I feel more at home here now than I feel in my hometown. It feels weird to visit -- war changed everything."
"I would choose another part of the world, just for the life experience," says Poledica. If I had the opportunity, I might live in Asia or Africa. I believe I have the energy and passion to start over somewhere again."
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