For industry leader Leandro Neves, hospitality is in his blood. Born in Brazil, Leandro was exposed to the service world early and often as his grandparents owned 2 bars in the small town where he grew up. There, he watched and learned from his talented and passionate family and helped out where he could and set the foundation for a successful career in the hospitality world.
Leandro moved to the United States when he was 11 years old. He attended high school in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, where his passion and talent for team soccer became a vehicle for his emerging leadership. As a great communicator, team player, optimist and talented performer, Leandro was named captain of his team during his senior year before major knee injuries derailed his sporting aspirations. Refusing to lose his passion for the sport, Leandro turned his focus from the physical requirements to the leadership and coaching aspect that would set the stage for his future success.
Leandro officially jumped into the hospitality world as a cook at a high volume restaurant in Boston , Massachusetts. It didn’t take long for his talents and great team player attitude to shine as he moved up quickly to a Sous Chef and, soon after, the Chef role. His service aptitude and guest-first mentality was put to the test every shift given the restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept. Leandro excelled in the role and began to seek out more. Always eager to learn, Leandro also began getting involved in the beverage program, learning about craft cocktail mixology, guest focused hospitality and cost controls. He would always say his knowledge of the food, having had first hand experience, helped him passionately describe and suggest food to his guests that made them happy.
As his bar knowledge took off, so too did his passion for that side of the business and he accepted a position at the Met Bar in Boston’s Chestnut Hill to continue his growth. There, he apprenticed and furthered his learning under some of Boston’s best bartenders before taking over and eventually helping run the beverage program for the brand. Leandro was able to express his creativity at Met Bar and with the Met Group, being featured frequently in articles in some of Boston’s top publications with his inventive, attention-grabbing cocktails. As he made a name for himself, he also got more involved in scaling the business, opening multiple locations and designing many of their bars in the process.
In 2015, Leandro looked to continue his impressive career growth and was recruited into the team at Kings Dining & Entertainment as a floor manager in the Burlington, Massachusetts location. It was here that Leandro could flex his Leadership muscles as a holistic restaurant manager and stellar leader. Leandro was involved in several new location openings and was a training lead for several departments for new location launches.
It didn’t take long for Leandro to be promoted to General manager in the Burlington location. In the fall of 2017, Leandro faced his biggest challenge to date as he was named the opening General Manager for the new Kings location in Boston’s popular, up-and-coming Seaport district. His leadership was immediately put to the test as the entertainment venue launched as one of the hottest locations in the Seaport. Leandro, with his signature calm demeanor, took on the challenge head-on, building a great team, implementing systems, innovating new ideas and motivating his team through an incredible opening of the brands flagship store.
Over the years Leandro was running the Seaport venue, he was promoted to Senior Director of Operations for the company and helped with numerous rollouts and significant menu and promotional innovation. Leandro was a “go to” leader for training and development and managed to grow and develop nearly a dozen incredible leaders in the years he was with the company.
Today, Leandro is one of the key leaders and partners working with AMP Up1 Hospitality group to build the future of Experiential Dining. His passion for people, Culinary, Beverage and innovation is helping make him a stand out leader for the “Kenekt” brand he is launching. Armed with years of experience and partnered with a group of the best leaders in the industry, Leandro is helping reshape Eatertainment by marrying his love for great food, drinks and next level hospitality. His passionate innovation in the Culinary and Mixology world is proving significant in launching an exciting new concept.
Leandro is a special breed of “Servant Leadership” who happens to have an unstoppable passion to challenge the status quo to evolve. They say you “run your fastest mile with a fast runner”- this man is the reason we win marathons. It takes a special person to lead teams and projects the way Leandro does. Passion, persistence and a growth mindset set him apart from many and raise the bar high for the rest. Leandro is one of the best leaders in the industry and is part of building a company from the ground up and paving the way for leaders who will follow in his talented footsteps.
In his spare time, you can find Leandro working on his house and garden, cooking a great meal with his family or going out on walks.
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