Operations and Education Director
Having worked in the restaurant industry since her teens, Erin Phillips, has held nearly every position imaginable. From a dishwasher turned floor manager in Yellowstone National Park to a brewer and general manager in Berea, Ohio, Phillips' range of experiences has led her to pursue a unique and rewarding career in hospitality. Initially inspired by the ability to create memorable experiences for guests, Phillips has continued to develop her passion for the industry by leading and supporting teams all with the goal of hospitality in mind.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Phillips graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a bachelor's degree in education. Upon graduation, Phillips found herself back in the restaurant industry where she was able to apply her passions for teaching and developing others to find their true potential in the environment she knew and loved.
After working in both front of house and managerial positions in Ohio, Phillips moved to Chicago where she served as Sommelier and Beverage Director under world-renowned chef Jean Joho at Brasserie JO, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. After Brasserie JO closed, Phillips joined B. Hospitality Co. as a Manager at The Bristol alongside Chef Chris Pandel. She then moved on to open Grant Achatz’s groundbreaking cocktail lounge, The Aviary where she served as General Manager. When B. Hospitality Co. and Boka Restaurant Group joined forces to open Balena in March 2012, Phillips was thrilled to accept the position as General Manager. She spent three years at Balena before transitioning into Director of Operations for Boka Restaurant Group in October 2014, and Senior Director of Operations in 2017.
As the Senior Director of Operations, Phillips manages multiple teams and is able to extend her hospitality in numerous dining rooms. While embracing the unexpected and handling problems with ease, Phillips creates welcoming atmospheres for both guests and team members alike. With an emphasis on kindness and respect, Phillips’s management style is the perfect fit at Boka Restaurant Group, where hospitality is of utmost importance.
When she's not overseeing some of Chicago's hottest restaurants, Phillips enjoys gardening, cooking, home brewing, reading and collecting records.