Quad-Cities Restaurant Week: Ridge Social Drinkery Employee Ryan Dunn-Reicks Recognized for His Commitment to the Food Industry | Food and dining

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Screams and applause filled The Ridge Social Drinkery on Wednesday afternoon, knocking general manager Ryan Dunn-Reicks from his place at the bar.

The restaurant was mostly empty, providing plenty of space for Dunn-Reicks’ husband, friends and family, and Visit Quad Cities staff to gather and tell Dunn-Reicks he had been recognized as a exemplary Quad-Cities restaurant worker.

“I’m so speechless right now,” Dunn-Reicks said.

For Dunn-Reicks, who has worked at the Ridge Social Drinkery since it opened in November 2019, it’s the people he interacts with, rather than the food, that he loves, as well as the staff he works with.

“It’s really the people, it’s the clientele, I meet a plethora of individuals,” Dunn-Reicks said.

His enjoyment of working with all kinds of people, along with his commitment to making the Ridge Social Drinkery a welcoming place, has earned him recognition from Visit Quad Cities. Dunn-Reicks was one of five food establishment employees surprised by Visit Quad Cities for QC Restaurant Week, receiving a reception from friends, family and colleagues with cake and balloons.

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This is the first time in the 10-year history of QC Restaurant Week that Visit Quad Cities invites people to celebrate restaurant workers. By the time the nomination site closed on March 22, nearly 200 applications had been submitted.

Jessica Waytenick, public relations and marketing manager for Visit Quad Cities, said this year was the perfect time to implement the initiative, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how restaurant workers are important.

Dunn-Reicks’ name came up often as they scoured the nominations, Waytenick said, and what they read about him showed he needed recognition.

“Ryan has received multiple nominations which is just awesome,” Waytenick said. “They were so well written and showcased his service and his personality and, really, his commitment to the industry.”

Dunn-Reicks hadn’t had a chance to check out the star restaurants yet, but after his shift — and his workplace surprise — he planned to stop by Cavort.

Growing up in Davenport, Dunn-Reicks said she saw how the restaurant scene changed from more corporate chains to all kinds of local places, from family restaurants to international eateries. QC Restaurant Week serves to showcase restaurants that new residents of Quad-Cities may not be familiar with, or that long-time Quad-Citizens may not have discovered.

“I think it definitely boosts [local restaurants] because people who aren’t necessarily going out to try something new now have this idea of… trying something that supports a local small business that they’ve never been to before,” Dunn-Reicks said.

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