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Meet Your Neighbor: Yannick Augy

Opening a new business is never easy, and focus tends to be on getting all the operational aspects in line (dealing with construction, décor, hiring employees, ordering supplies and so much more).  So, it’s pretty rare for a brand new business to immediately incorporate a community outreach initiative in the first year, but 89074 resident Yannick Augy, General Manager of Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant & Nightclub was instrumental in making it happen.

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By: Callie Thomas

Since opening in May 2013, giving back to the community has become very important to the organization, leading to the development of Hakkasan’s overarching local non-profit program, “Hakkasan Gives Back.”  Augy and the team set out to identify a partner the company could relate to in the food service and hospitality industries, and found Three Square Food Bank, a  non-profit committed to feeding the community with quality meals.

Augy has had a passion for food and dining since growing up in the Loire Valley of France.  His grandmother first introduced him to the restaurant business at age 13.  He gained his education at Jacques Cocur, culinary school in Borges, France and completed a Master of Hospitality Management and Tourism Accounting from the University of Angers.  His diverse training included being a Demi-Chef at the Michelin-starred Le Clos des Sens at the Châteaux & Hôtels de France and Assistant Maitre D’ at Hostellerie le Phébus at Relais & Châteaux. Augy worked at a number of high-end hotels throughout France, the United Kingdom and Monaco before coming to Las Vegas where he took a Food & Beverage position with the MGM Grand Hotel Resort & Casino.  He later joined Hakkasan Las Vegas as Assistant General Manager where he worked to open the venue and, just a few months later, became the General Manager.  Yannick Augy shares his experiences with Hakkasan Gives Back and his other accomplishments.

What is it like being involved with Three Square?

“I feel privileged that we were able to raise so much money so Three Square can provide thousands of meals to its patrons in-need.  It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to know that I helped contribute to a great cause and I look forward to many more opportunities like this one.”

 

 

What are some of the initiatives of Hakkasan Gives Back?

“We wanted to align ourselves with a local food-based organization and give back to the community any way we could. Three Square Food Bank introduced us to their facility just before the holiday season and just a few days later, we created a campaign to help increase hunger awareness within Southern Nevada. Our next step was to have our staff involved (both in the restaurant and nightclub) as they raised contributions and donated their personal time at Three Square’s warehouse to help assemble meals for those in need

In just two hours we packaged 10,000 meals to-go for the Kid’s Café, 1,500 bags of food for Backpacks for Kids and 130 Senior Share Boxes. In addition to this volunteer activity, for each guest that dined in the restaurant during the month of December, Hakkasan donated $5 to the nonprofit organization. In January 2014, Hakkasan restaurant hosted Three Square Food Bank’s key executives and board members to present a cumulative check totaling $50,636 which included all funds collected throughout this time.”

What are you personally most proud to have achieved?

“I am extremely proud of what Las Vegas has given me.  I left France in 2007 right after college, leaving my entire family and friends back home to come to a country where I didn’t know anyone, didn’t know if I was going to like it or make it.  I will always be thankful to MGM Grand for giving me the best work experience and opportunity to grow.”

You’ve also received a few awards along the way for your efforts.

“I’m very honored to have received awards such as the MGM Mirage Warriorship Award, the Seventh Restaurant Service World Award and a few others. It’s a great feeling to be recognized, especially in a city that is so full of exemplary leaders in the hospitality industry.”

Any life inspirations or quote you’d like to share?

“My boyfriend introduced me to a TV show called Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey and one episode with Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, fascinated me and was a great lesson. I learned to lead my team not only by the way I see my surroundings but also the way I see myself.  Also, my grandmother Suzanne would say, don’t forget to smile, it’s the only free thing in this world.”

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