Meet Adriana-Women In Charge

Adriana Efstathiou, Facility Manager Chow Restaurants

About Adriana:

I grew up in Castro Valley and started working in my parents’ restaurant when I was 14 — first as a dishwaser, then pantry chef, then to the front of the house and was serving by the time I was 16. My family owned restaurants and catering businesses the majority of my life, so needless to say the restaurant industry runs in my blood.

My background is Greek, and the one thing Greek’s love more than dancing is food! It was a big deal for my family when I became vegetarian, and eventually vegan, because meat and cheese are such a big part of Greek food culture.

I’ve worked at Chow for over eight years, starting as a server, moved to supervisor and now I’m the facility manager for the entire company. We have two locations in San Francisco, two in the East Bay

and another location coming soon in Oakland. Please visit our website at www.chowfoodbar.com

Chow is a great fit for me — it’s the first restaurant I’ve ever worked at that doesn’t have a microwave and buys only organic and sustainable ingredients. Our meats, seafood and veggies are delivered to us daily as opposed to weekly, and our pies, sauces and dressing are all made in house. The company is aligned with my values, and everyone works together as a team. I can truly call the people I work with family.

Is there a woman/or women that helped inspired you to achieve your goals?

The woman that inspired and empowered me to reach my goals was my mom. She was diagnosed with Ateriovenous Malformation (AVM) at a young age. Because of the medication, she bruised and cut easily. My mother was also hunchback because of broken vertebrae and ribs; her face and legs were also swollen from the disease. She was in and out of the hospital with over 16 surgeries that lasted over 20 hours each surgery. People would stare at her everywhere we went and wonder what was wrong with her.

She was a dance instructor, Girl Scout Leader, served on the PTA Board at two schools and on the board of directors for a national dance competition; Sunday school teacher, court reporter, and in her spare time did arts and crafts. She was an amazing mother that did everything she could for my sister and me.

My mom passed away at 40 but did so much that everyone tells me she had accomplished more than most people who live much longer. She never let her disease stop or slow her down. She was very stubborn that way but taught me that you can do anything and everything.

What advice would you give other women to help them reach their goals?

I've never felt that being a woman can stop me from anything. Being surrounded by people who always support you to achieve your goals is very important. I'm lucky to have chosen wonderful people in my life that have never made me feel otherwise. I encourage others to choose the people in your life that help you be a better version of yourself, not who they want or think you should be.

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