Lettuce Entertain You – Hiring criteria and benefits to improve corporate culture

Ranked within the top 20 best restaurant companies to work for by Inhersight, Lettuce Entertain You has been known to care for their employees. We ask R.J. Melman, President of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, what the company evaluates when hiring and their vision for employee care.

Q1: What type of specific hiring criteria and training is done at Lettuce Entertain You for your employees to understand the culture of caring?

While we believe the hospitality spirit can be honed, it is more difficult to teach than technical skills. This is why when hiring, we look for candidates who display emotional maturity, confidence, awareness, and an entrepreneurial spirit regardless of their prior work experience. As for technical skills, we believe that as a restaurant company, it is our responsibility to teach technical elements specific to the job such as the steps of service, proper procedures, and restaurant specific information. 

Q2: Is there something unique about your corporate hierarchical structure or culture that helps employees decide to work for the company or maintains a low turnover rate?

As a privately held, family run company, we pride ourselves on providing internal growth and career opportunities.  Long-standing employees are our greatest assets when it comes to our growth.  Their understanding of and ability to maintain our culture of caring is paramount to our success.  The majority of our partners have been with the company for several decades and began as restaurant-level employees.

Q3: What type of specific additional costs go into investing in your employees?

We cherish the idea that what sets us apart is our people. We do our very best to ensure we offer growth opportunities and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit of our employees so they can create a lifetime career with Lettuce. To keep this promise, our company provides many wonderful benefits. To name a few, we provide 401K plans, Vision, Dental, Health, Accident, and Life Insurance policies, a robust discount program based on tenure and position with the company, Mental Health Benefits, leave programs outside of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a Parental Leave Program, and Competitive Vacation Plans.

Q4: What advice would you give to current restaurant companies that consider employees as expendable costs rather than investments?

I would invite employees of any of those companies to come apply for a job with us. Employee education and engagement is the only way to ensure a guest’s experience exceeds expectations and a company can grow.

 

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One comment

  1. This is why when hiring, we look for candidates who display emotional maturity, confidence, awareness, and an entrepreneurial spirit regardless of their prior work experience. As for technical skills, we believe that as a restaurant company, it is our responsibility to teach technical elements specific to the job such as the steps of service, proper procedures, and restaurant specific information.

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