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Whitney Eccher of 4Top Hospitality: What’s in Your COVID Bag?

event-speaker

Dec 23, 2020

Kate Kennedy

Dec 23, 2020

Whitney Eccher of 4Top Hospitality: What's in Your COVID Bag?

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Whitney Eccher

We’ve switched up our What’s In Your Bag? feature to focus on what event professionals are carrying in their bag of tricks while running a business during the pandemic.

We tapped the brain of one of our favorite event professionals and Tripleseat customer, Whitney Eccher, who is the Senior Sales Manager for 4Top Hospitality in Nashville. Let’s begin by taking a quick dive into Eccher’s background, and what led her to the hospitality industry and ultimately to private events.

Eccher has been in the hospitality industry for more than 16 years. She worked her way up from hostess to server and eventually moved to private events. Eccher’s passion for hospitality makes her one of the most sought-after event planners in Nashville. She always puts her clients first and works hard to ensure their booking and planning process is as easy and stress-free as possible. She often hears clients say, “Wow, that was so easy!” To which she responds, “That’s the only way it should be.” Her job is to make her clients’ visions come to life.

Eccher was born and raised in Carmel, Calif., along with five other generations of her family. She started working at a young age for a local resort and golf club. She was their event manager for member events. After several years in this position, she moved on to become the operations manager for an offsite catering company where she planned weddings and large corporate events.

In 2008 Eccher moved to Nashville, just in time for the recession. After about six months off, she took a job at the Hutton Hotel where she worked as a conference and wedding planner. She also undertook the organization of guest room blocks, entertainment service management for traveling bands, as well as the booking and execution of private events in their two private dining rooms. She worked at the Hutton Hotel for seven years before accepting a position at 4Top Hospitality.

4Top has 16 restaurants throughout the South, in the cities of Jackson, Miss.; Huntsville, Ala.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Nashville. Eccher represents three of the six concepts in Nashville, which include Etch, etc., and Char restaurants. She sells and coordinates private dining rooms, restaurant buyouts, off-site catering, and delivery. Eccher also oversees the entire Nashville market while also collaborating with their Huntsville and Memphis sales teams. When Eccher isn’t working, which isn’t often, you can find her hanging out with her four welsh corgis or her cats, riding her horses, or hanging with her family outside city limits.

The bag: Currently, Eccher is carrying a laptop crossbody bag, more for function than fashion. The parking lot where she parks every day is more than a block away from the restaurants, so ease and comfort is a must.

Here is what she is currently carrying in her bag during the pandemic.

Hand sanitizer: Before the pandemic, I was also the same way: trying to keep the germs at bay. Working in the hospitality industry, and especially a restaurant, you touch so many surfaces. I always wash my hands like crazy, but having the mini hand sanitizer bottle is always a plus for times when you need it.

4Top Hospitality mask

Custom-branded 4Top Hospitality jersey material face mask: So comfortable. No one likes masks, but we have to wear them. Our company purchased custom-branded masks. They are made from a jersey knit material. They’re super-comfortable and don’t make you feel like you are suffocating.

Two pairs of shoes: These are my walking from the parking garage/lot shoes and my business attire shoes. When I was younger I would wear 4 inch high heels and didn’t realize the damage I was doing to my feet. Flash forward several years and now I wear comfy tennis shoes from the parking area to the restaurant, where I then change into my wedges or business flats.

Healthy snacks: I always have some reduced salt roasted almonds from Trader Joe’s and a bag of Skinny Pop Popcorn. It is so easy to fall off the diet wagon when working in a restaurant. Especially when you have an amazing pastry chef and chef de cuisine that are always putting out yummy snacks. Pretty soon you are completely full and don’t need lunch! A few years back I learned to keep a bag of almonds with me and a bag of regular Skinny Pop popcorn. These are lifesavers! A snack every few hours helps to reduce temptation.

A 32-ounce water bottle: My goal each day is to drink at least two 32 ounce servings of water. I have my coffee at home, but usually drink a can of raspberry Bubly sparkling water on my drive in. As soon as I walk into the restaurant, I go fill up my 32-ounce water bottle. It’s easy to sip on throughout the day and it helps to justify that cocktail or glass of wine at night.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Fall 2020 Issue of Seated magazine.