Recently, I went to a corporate chain restaurant for lunch with my sister. In the middle of the table was a tablet. This tablet allowed us to order our food, play games, “buzz” staff for help, check the time on our order, and pay our check. We could spend virtually our entire meal without seeing an actual employee. And the games ensured we wouldn’t have to talk with each other either. We could have a 100% efficient meal.
While I’m sure this saves a lot of money for the restaurant (all they need is a food and drink runner), I hate this idea! In my mind, hospitality is about human beings. It’s about treating our guests (not customers) well and catering to their needs. We know so many of our guests so well: which drinks they prefer and which tables they like. They are friends to us and their two-way conversations with staff are about life events, not just about ordering a meal.
This is why I appreciate our staff so greatly. You may have seen some of our Employee Spotlight features where we highlight our staff. They are diverse, different in so many ways, but the same in their desire to really help our guests and each other.
We hire for personality, intelligence, and self-motivation. We look for team players that want to be helpful and have a kind heart. These people often cross-train to different areas of the restaurant and continually learn. We have many staff that work, at different times, as hosts, servers, bartenders, and supervisors. Many started as high school age hosts and stayed with us to become servers, bartenders, and supervisors.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to thank our fantastic staff. The one hundred or so people who work at EVOO and Za (Cambridge and Arlington) impact so many people every day. We do our best to take care of our people and they do their best to take care of our guests and each other.
We will always hire great people. If you or someone you know is interested, apply on our websites or stop by.