General Manager, Food & Beverage
A dedicated team member of Sage Restaurant Group since 2008, Megan McGinness ensures guests experience genuine Midwestern hospitality at Toasted Oak Grill + Market in Novi, MI, located in metro-Detroit. She encourages staff to exceed guests’ expectations through exceptional and attentive service, which adds to the Michigan-centric restaurant’s focuses on all things local. “My overall approach to management is to create a united team that is willing look for creative ways to improve the business,” she says. “My style is direct, honest, and accommodating. I like to encourage people to make their own decisions and then support them throughout the process.”
McGinness identified the potential of empowering one’s team when she first began her restaurant career with Sage Restaurant Group. As a wine steward at Urban Farmer in Portland, OR, she was encouraged by her managers to unite her love of hospitality with her penchant for wine, discovering how to guide guests and offer selections that complemented the menu and please people’s palates. She also had the opportunity to help build the wine program to highlight Oregon’s distinctive offerings and increase Urban Farmer’s visibility as a destination for great local and regional wines.
In 2010, McGinness helped open Toasted Oak, developing the adjacent wine market concept and overseeing the build-out. Soon after, she stepped into the senior restaurant manager position at The Corner Office in Denver, CO. While in this new leadership role, she had the opportunity to train and mentor a new manager. “To teach someone to rise to another level is so inspiring, and it keeps me growing and challenging myself,” she says.
McGinness served as director of operations at Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Denver from November 2011 until rejoining Toasted Oak as general manager in January 2013. During her tenure, she introduced and executed original promotions to boost the restaurant’s profile. Most notably, she collaborated with the executive chef to create a partnership with the American Lamb Board, launching the Shepherd to Chef Program that highlighted Colorado lamb on the menu.
Aside from keeping tabs on the latest local winery, distillery, and brewery news in her spare time, McGinness enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hiking, and snowshoeing. McGinness’ passion for hospitality also extends to travel, which includes visits to the Willamette Valley, where she helped plant a friend’s vineyard in 2006.