Alexondra Gibson isn’t the type of person to sugar coat anything, especially when it comes to her work as an implementation specialist for SpotOn. Since she gets to travel to cities across the country, visiting different restaurants and bars to implement their new point-of-sale system, most people might assume her job feels like one pleasant road trip. But if you watch her in action, you see how hard she works to continuously exceed those expectations. She isn’t there just to install SpotOn’s point-of-sale technology, train the staff on different software integrations, then head home to rest.
Alexondra makes it a priority to get to every restaurant a bit earlier than expected. Before she even mentions the name of their new tech, she listens. She even encourages complaints or feedback about their old hardware. The more information, the better when it comes to finding the right solutions and building a team. If she hears that the line cooks are feeling overwhelmed by all the orders coming in at lunch, she’ll install a KDS or ticket printer so the kitchen workflow won’t ever feel backed up again. If bartenders feel frustrated whenever they try to place a drink order, she’ll make sure they know how to customize the default screen on their POS system so they’ll never feel lost again.
Before joining SpotOn, Alexondra learned to listen by working a wide range of service jobs, work that she still remembers to this day. She’s been a AAA customer service representative, folded clothes in multiple big-chain retail stores, coached girl’s volleyball, and much more. At one point, she worked at Chipotle, serving burrito bowls with chicken and telling guests guacamole is extra.
At most of her jobs, Alexondra knew she could do so much more to help since she had such a strong understanding of all the different elements that craft a unique guest experience. For example, by listening to her team at Chipotle, Alexondra soon found all the little details that either helped or hindered their own working experience. She listened to the servers complain about the lunchtime rush and even mentored the inexperienced teenager working their first job, all while staying focused on her own responsibilities.
It didn’t take long for her to be promoted to manager of that Chipotle. If a cook had trouble grilling up the chicken on time, she knew it was the kitchen efficiency, not the cook, that needed to improve. If that inexperienced teenager was having a hard time completing guest purchases, Alexondra took the time to understand their struggle, then craft it all into a teaching moment for quick and easy checkouts no matter what.
The “helper” mentality didn’t just come out of nowhere. Before she was even working as an adult, Alexondra first had to discover how a team could fall apart if there wasn’t someone to help keep things together.
Growing up, she was a passionate member of her synchronized figure skating team. She loved experiencing the magic of a team working together. Whether she was lining up with other skaters for a specific routine or coordinating a complicated stunt, Alexondra never wanted that unity to crumble. However, in high school, the expectations of competitions forced her to feel disconnected with the sport. That’s when her grandfather took a leap of faith and offered her a job as a girl’s volleyball coach. Since he’d worked as a collegiate coach for decades while also running an amateur volleyball club, he knew Alexondra had the right understanding to help a team succeed on and off the court. Alexondra agreed, hoping her grandfather knew what he was talking about. Thankfully, he was right all along.
“Coaching children’s volleyball taught me that I thrive being around people, and how I can actually help them improve in the long run,” say’s Alexondra. “It’s hard to grasp at first, but I saw how nobody learns in the exact same way.” She worked on the sidelines, training her players to move like a well-oiled machine.
I discovered the value of mental flexibility, where I tweak my usual teaching process in a fun way so others can learn just as well. I still try to bring that flexibility to every client.
After graduating high school and starting Wayne State University, Alexondra’s next few jobs really put that flexibility to the test. On top of her usual coaching, she worked table service in restaurants, tended the checkout line at a department store, and bartended all over the Metro Detroit area. Alexondra quickly found that some of these jobs weren’t really aligning with her values as a people person. Corporate retail in particular had been sucking out all the joy she found from working with customers.
“With these retail gigs,” Alexondra explains, “you see customers in a line wrapping around the building for a store’s semi-annual sale. They’re all super impatient and refuse to even see you working for them, meaning they won’t let you help them at all. I really felt that the retail grind wasn’t doing much for me. It was all so mundane because I was only folding clothes and barely making an impact. I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to help.”
Since corporate retail wasn’t the right fit, Alexondra decided to focus more on hospitality and see where that would take her. Bars soon became an important place for her to feel a sense of helping others that she missed in her other jobs.
At those bars, Alexondra quickly realized the importance of constantly changing oneself based on every new situation. She’ll never forget when a guest complained to her manager about a wrong drink order. Since Alexondra had just started working in Detroit bars, it felt like it came out of nowhere. The unsatisfied guest was a regular who had always got along with the staff and Alexondra in particular. But once her manager explained how the drink order was incorrect and the guest felt ignored, Alexondra acknowledged the mistake without feeling too discouraged. She learned from her mistake, and understood that dealing with a guest experience can be fickle at times. From there on, she knew that her job was to move forward and understand that mistake without taking it too personally.
No matter what happens, I always want to step back and ask myself a bunch of questions for clarity. It doesn’t even matter what job I’m doing exactly. I want to know what happened from the guest’s perspective. What can I take away from this situation? How can I build on it for next time instead of letting it bring me down?
Thanks to her wide range of jobs that dealt with different guest expectations, SpotOn felt like the natural fit for Alexondra. She could bring all her skills into one spot to make a larger impact, all while staying in the atmosphere she loves most—restaurants and bars. “Everything came full circle when I started at SpotOn,” says Alexondra. “I realized I had not only worked in so many different spaces dealing with clients, I also managed those spaces too. I experienced every different angle of them—the clientele aspect, the management aspect, the restaurant service aspect. I always know where I can give the best type of support.”