Randy Rivera knows a thing or two about handling the unexpected pitfalls that comes with managing a restaurant.
The Clayton Heights resident, who celebrated the opening of his own Firecrust Custom Salads and Pizzas on the Langley Bypass on Friday, reflected on winning the 2013 Giving You the Business reality show on Food Network Canada.
In Giving You the Business, four standout employees are handpicked by their CEO and secretly put to the test in a series of outrageous challenges designed to gauge their skills.
With hidden cameras capturing their every move, the strongest candidate walks away with the keys to their very own franchise worth up to half a million dollars, notes the Food Network.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that,” he said.
“Winning a show definitely makes a lot of difference as far as our lifestyle and all of that.”
Rivera managed a Wok Box in London, Ont., and the show assembled hidden cameras and microphones around the restaurant.
“They actually sent in some actors to ruin our days and see how we’d react,” Rivera said. “We had no idea. When you’re down in that fire, right, they’d see how you would (react) in that certain situation. It was good.”
Now comes his newest challenge: managing and owning the new Firecrust Pizza location at the Rio Can Langley Power Centre, #40-20160 Langley Bypass.
Rivera is the newest member of the expanding pizzaria/salad franchise.
“We’re trying to capture the experience of the authentic Italian restaurant,” Rivera said. “This is our family’s first adventure. It’s exciting for everyone.”
Founded in 2015, Firecrust has four locations including Lloydminster, Grande Prairie, downtown Vancouver and now Langley, with more scheduled openings in 2018.
Firecrust pizzas are based on a hand tossed crust and baked in a wood burning oven at 900 degrees but also offers custom made salads.
Customers are invited to build their meal with more than 30 ingredients, or have them build with a large assortment of chef-created dishes.