Meet June’s Botrista Beverage MVP, Mike Kita, Senior Director of Beverage Program! Mike is a true go-getter. He is not afraid to dive right into projects, nor get his hands dirty. Mike is passionate and dedicated, and we are so lucky to have him at Botrista!
Mike’s college career began with three semesters at West Virginia University. He had planned to take one semester off, which then turned into 18 years before completing his undergrad and eventually going on to earn his MBA at Temple University. “I had developed this sense of quitting something, which is not who I am, and not what I wanted to teach my kids. Being a father to five children (at the time), running a business, and continuing my education, there were mornings when my wife had to peel my face off of the keyboard of my laptop and help me to manage everything on my plate”.
Most recently, Mike was on the operator side of food and beverage. “I was a restaurant owner/ area developer and operator for a national Fast Casual chain. I also served on the Franchise Advisory Council, which gave me more insight into how decisions are made at the corporate level that affect the entire system”. Understanding both sides of the industry, Mike says that Botrista solves a lot of issues that he faced, and restaurants continue to face on a daily basis. “Our platform provides operational simplicity, product consistency (every time), and you can train your newest employee in a matter of minutes how to make barista-quality drinks”. Mike says that he’s thrilled about the many solutions that Botrista can provide, and even more thrilled to be involved!
The most exciting part about working within the food and beverage industry is the fact that it's ever-evolving. “There is no such thing as complacency or boredom in this industry because it's never stagnant. If you want to be successful within food and beverage, you have to stay on top of industry trends and how that affects the market and your business”. It really is all about adapting yourself to the needs of the market, which Mike says suits his personality to a tee.
If Mike could offer one piece of advice, it would be to find a mentor that you can connect with, because it’s worth more than gold. Mike said that the most valuable thing his mentor said to him was this, “Doing what’s right isn't always easy, but it’s always right”. “As a father, husband, son, and professional, this serves for me as a grounding point in every role that I take on.”
“What makes me most proud is seeing the success of my children. I like to believe that I instilled that same phrase from my mentor, into my children. My children are well-rounded, contributing members of society, and they have good heads on their shoulders. As a parent, watching my children grow into who they are is the most rewarding thing”.