Takeaways from this episode:
A Family Culture — Levy Restaurants leads with a family culture. Jennifer Allen attributes a piece of Levy’s success to the employees genuinely enjoying each other’s company.
Meeting Specific Market Needs — The best food from the best chefs is the basis for what Jennifer Allen says sets Levy Restaurants apart from the competition. However, favorites vary from region to region, and Levy adjusts to meet those needs by using data.
Remember… It’s Fun — Jennifer Allen knows the pressures that come with planning large events. With those pressures, Allen says it is important for companies to remember they are in the business of providing and having fun.
It takes great people to run great companies. Levy Restaurants became great by priding itself on a commitment to culture.
Jennifer Allen is Vice President of Restaurant Operations at Levy Restaurants and a self-proclaimed “restaurant girl” who takes pride in the family-focused environment at Levy.
One of the first things Jennifer noticed about the company was how many strong females there were in important, decision-making roles.
“I think one of the things that was really interesting to me about Levy in the time that I joined was that there were a significant amount of female leaders in this company that was mostly sports and entertainment venues,” says Jennifer Allen on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.
That realization was an early indicator of the family atmosphere and growth potential at Levy Restaurants.
Levy Restaurants operates nearly 200 sports and entertainment venues all over the United States and Canada. From striving to hire (and retain) the best people and make the best food, the Chicago-based company has been able to grow significantly since its founding in 1978.
Jennifer Allen is responsible for Levy’s Chicago, Orlando, Saint Paul, Milwaukee restaurant properties, as well as American Girl’s flagship Chicago and New York stores. Her expansive influence and rapid growth in the company embodies the core culture that has been created within Levy.
Levy Restaurants Values:
- Be Nice
- Be Passionate
- Be Innovative
- Be Inclusive
Boasting both sports entertainment and restaurant venues in a multitude of locations, Levy Restaurants makes it a point to not only serve, but ensure they are serving the best food they can by following the data. Instead of trying to follow the latest trends, Levy Restaurants sets themselves apart by using research and demographics to provide a unique customer experience at their locations.
With all of the moving parts that go into the sports and entertainment restaurant industries, Jennifer Allen is able to power through each day due to one idea that she says is important to keep at the top of mind:
“Really be excited about it… Remember, we’re here because it’s fun.”
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