General Manager Jeanie Janas likes to lead the front of the house team at Bellecour by example and encourage everyone at the restaurant to have fun while working. “If my team is happy, my guests will be happy, and I will be too,” says Janas, who welcomes each guest to the restaurant as if they were guests in her home, aiming to go above and beyond while finding new ways to surprise and delight them. She approaches each night at the restaurant as if the space were a set and everyone there is putting on a show. Janas is passionate about making sure all of the elements of the guest experience are present, correct, and balanced. “Lights that are adjusted as the sun dims, music that goes up as the energy builds, and a team that can give each guest the personalized experience they are looking for is what makes a restaurant special,” she says.
Janas became interested in food at an early age, growing up on a farm in Northwest Indiana. Her first job was as a dishwasher at a banquet hall and from there she worked her way into the kitchen. She followed her passion to the Culinary Institute of America, and completed her culinary externship at Chez Panisse, a restaurant she credits with giving her the foundation to her management approach. Upon returning to school, Janas realized that she had barely scratched the surface of what she needed to learn about this industry. She continued her education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she took her first front of house role and never went back.
After graduating from UNLV, Janas worked at the two-star Michelin awarded Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, then moved to Singapore to manage Iggy’s, then to open Bacchanalia Singapore, which won 2014 San Pellegrino New Restaurant of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit. Before moving to Minneapolis, Janas worked at Gilt Bar in Chicago. Of the restaurant industry, Janas says, “I feel fortunate to say that I laugh in my job every single day. As a manager I try to encourage my team to have their own style and bring their personality into our setting, while keeping with our standards. This allows us to connect with our guests in a natural and honest way.”
When Janas moved to Minneapolis, she met Gavin and learned about the opening of Bellecour. The two have similar service and hospitality philosophies, which made her excited to join the opening team. Janas describes the service style of the restaurant as welcoming, hospitable, and adaptable and she hopes that guests leave feeling appreciated, satiated, and well taken care of.
Janas likes to take advantage of any chance to travel and also enjoys hiking, gardening, baking, and exploring her new city. She lives in Seward with her fiancé, who is a sous chef at Spoon and Stable.