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Vin Flores

Director of Restaurant Operations

FOOD PATRONUS | Daquiri; it's my favorite drink. So simple to make but difficult to master. I think that describes my approach to just about everything.

EARLY DAYS | Born and raised in Houston, Texas. I fell in love with hospitality when I developed training for a restaurant and trained every employee that walked through the door for almost 5 years. Making connections, and creating a sense of a belonging is hard to teach but magical when you can.

EDUCATION | Moved to Austin to study Film at University of Texas. It was a passion and what I pursued while Hospitality paid the bills. Favorite thing I learned was to unlearn everything I had learned. To critically analyze everything, break it apart, and put it back together in new and interesting ways. Around 32 I shifted to Hospitality and more importantly Leadership Development full-time.

BACKGROUND CHECK | Started in Leadership full-time at MML and it was eye-opening. My favorite job was opening 2nd Bar + Kitchen in the Domain when I had my first opportunity to be a GM. I was deeply out of my league but had the opportunity to take chances, innovate, and try ideas I had always dreamed of. I built a fantastic team, and leadership team, and that was when I believed I could do this at a much higher level.

Soon after, I moved into the Director of Operations role at Tatsu-ya; opened Tiki Tatsu-ya, and oversaw the Full Service concepts--my first bat as a director and through the pains of Covid. Oof.

At New Waterloo, the simple answer is that I oversee the freestanding operations. The bigger answer is that I develop leaders and teach leadership. It is the secret sauce, the answer to all the problems, and the way we grow and scale without losing our identity as a company.

WHY I LOVE NW | The people I work with--the teams I lead, those I report to. It is challenging and always interesting but I've been given trust and a platform to "make it better".

HOSPITALITY PHILOSOPHY | I define hospitality as scared and the art of creating genuine connection and an authentic sense of belonging.

SUPER POWER | I grew up a comic book nerd so this is always overly complex: probably the ability to alter physical matter. /nerd emoji