One of Us

Raymond Bova

Posted

Can you please briefly tell us about your background?

I have been in restaurants since the age of 16 for a combined total of 38 years; you can do the math on my age. Some of my greatest memories of my formative-restaurant years was when I was employed for the Alhambra Dinner Theatre. I started as a pot washer at 16 and finished working backstage as a property master before I left in 1997. I started with Carrabba’s in 2000 and just celebrated 20 years with ’em!

What are some of the challenges that your industry/company is facing?

Obviously, the biggest challenge now is the COVID crisis and how it has affected how people decide to eat out or use carry out. Restaurant “traffic” was already in decline in our industry with the younger consumers more geared towards delivery by us or third-party companies such as Doordash, Grubhub etc.

What are your primary roles/responsibilities?

I am the managing partner and I oversee the entire restaurant at Carrabba’s Baymeadows. Our motto at Bloomin’ Brands is we are a company of restaurants and not a restaurant company. Johnny Carrabba was the original partner at our first location in Houston, and every Carrabba’s has its own managing partner who is the owner in every sense of the word.

What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?

I love the weather, the people, my beloved Jags and, for most part, we don’t have the traffic and congestion of other larger cities like Jacksonville.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to spend my free time working out at Baileys Jax Beach. I made a health decision back in 2017 to improve my diet and health. I have lost over 60 pounds of body fat and feel great. We only get one body on the ride called life!

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