Andolini’s / Sauce / 15sx – 2016 Plans
To: All SCP Inc. Team Members
Hello everyone, 2015 was a great year for us here at 19 Essex Street, and it is the direct result of all the things each of us did to make our guest experience better, so please take pride in all of our accomplishments.
· Our best year of sales from our opening in 1999 to the present
· Held more events than at any point in our history.
· Delivered the area’s best and most frequent food and cocktail ideas.
· Planned, built, and opened 15sx.
· Completed a kitchen floor and dish area remodel.
· Built Sunday brunch into a powerhouse, and as a whole Sunday into our 3rd best day.
· Made a legion of regulars happy to see our faces multiple times a week.
Numbers and accomplishments are great and last year was an outstanding year for both. But what makes me particularly proud is that we did all of it with a group of people who treat each other with respect and dignity, and in doing so we collectively raised the quality of each of our work lives. I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for becoming part of our family here and bringing your best talent, temperament, and teamwork with you to help us make our guests happy.
This year we will continue to invest in the restaurant financially, physically, and mentally to improve the quality of our fellow team member’s, customer’s, and supplier’s experiences.
So I am writing to all of you to share the vision and the plan for where we are going, what is possible, and why we should all be excited and ready for the challenges ahead.
First off the roles of management and the way the restaurant is run is changing.
Spiro: In order to provide room and autonomy for the continued growth of our management team I am turning over several of my operational duties and focusing more on strategic growth and building our team.
Mike: For the better part of a decade Mike has worked with me or my family, and grown considerably both as a person and as a chef. His talent, determination, and honesty, have left me with supreme confidence in his decisions and willingness to consistently pursue improvement in all that we do. Late in 2015 I decided to reward Mike’s dedication to all those things and he became an operating partner in this business. His role in the future growth we will achieve is significant and something I am excited to see through to fruition.
Currently Mike is transitioning off the line on Friday and Saturday night to run expo and assist where needed, as you will see his creative and managerial input will continue to grow in both the back and front of the house as we pursue improvement in all areas of our operations. Mike running expo will allow Spencer to cook without managing tickets, increase the accuracy of food delivery, allow Mike to notice when a ticket is falling behind, visually check each dish as it leaves the kitchen, be able to leave the line when business permits to visit the FOH where needed.
It is appropriate to consult with Mike for any issue or question you may have for the Front or Back of the house on a given night if a FOH manager is not readily available, his decisions are directed to be what he believes are in the best interest of the restaurant and the rest of the staff, and should be considered as my decision.
Heidi: Heidi’s core responsibilities are payroll, private party booking, bookkeeping, staff onboarding. In the coming year she will continue to work primarily Tues/Wed/Fri with an occasional holiday or major event adding to that. She knows everything (maybe more) about the restaurant that I know and should always be consulted with first for any concerns that fall in her core responsibilities, consider her decisions on such matters as my decision.
In the past two years we have more than doubled our average weekly sales under this roof, and we are not done yet. There is plenty of room to grow our customer base and sales, and to do so I am prepared to continue to invest in the business in many ways.
Today I am pleased to announce a new addition to our management team:
Katie Kelly: Starting this weekend Katie will be joining us to focus on FOH management full time, she will bring with her extensive experience and education in hospitality and wine. Her serving and management career has led her through some excellent restaurants and we are happy to have her. In addition, she is a certified Sommelier who will elevate our wine selection and wine training.
Her primary areas of focus will be on improving guest experiences with table and bar service training, overall beverage program excellence, house curated events and dinners, guest database building, liquor inventory/costing/ordering, and a management presence on the floor during service.
Her addition is an investment on my part in the continued improvement of our overall business and the experience that guests get when they visit us. I have known Katie for quite some time and a recent move closer to us made this union possible. I think you will quickly identify her passion for the business and her knowledge of how guest interactions can be conducted with excellence.
What do you want it to be? Each of us can define our own paths on this hospitality journey, for instance I started as a busboy at my parent’s restaurant, Mike was hired by me as an intern during culinary school, and many of you never worked at a restaurant before you were hired here. What is important is that each of us possess a desire to brighten a guest’s day with our ability to make memorable experiences. Something as small as catching a guest on the sidewalk with a glove they left behind, or remembering what wine they had last time in, or sending a busser to the store to grab a particular brand of cranberry juice, all small things that change how someone views you and the restaurant.
My brother in law, Michael Schlow, a James Beard award winning chef and restaurateur who has forgotten more about the restaurant business than most of us will ever know calls it: ‘A Predisposition to Serve’ and Danny Meyer who is known as the leader of the industry when it comes to putting service at the forefront hires staff with what he calls a ‘high Hospitality Quotient’.
We aim to make a guest feel that we are on their side, that we are doing something for them. We think not of the trouble it causes us to do it, but rather delight in the surprise of a guest with our willingness to do something for them that surpasses their expectations.
The point is there is no mystery in this practice, you can find your way to a position of importance and security with a dedication to the people that make up our team and of course to our guests. We may delight them with a lime cup of burning 151 with dancing flames on their cocktail, but if they leave with a feeling that our staff knows them and cares about their time with us that memory will burn in their mind forever, and make choosing to come see us easier than any special drink ever could.
I appreciate each of you and am thrilled to build our team bigger and stronger in 2016, let’s find new opportunities together and each grow our umbrellas to encompass new levels of hospitality and pride that comes from a job well done. No matter what job you have now, if you have a desire to do the above things, you can grow into any job here.
Let’s get started.