Our most important investment
As an entrepreneurial company, we have a lot of conversations with business terms and philosophies on a regular basis- we talk about our P&L, our balance sheet, the value of growing and/ or depreciating assets. We focus on our brand identity, our leaders vision, our EBITDA, core values, mantra, and ability to sell more…
But our single most important conversation and key investment is…
From all the talents who have passed through the halls to the future ones who will help shape us, we have put stock and value in our people and their lives, our human capital, of which we are all apart.
I was stalling to write this, its been in my work queue for some time (inside joke, but I beat Nathan to it, #graythan) but recent events have pushed it to the forefront. We have done some fun teambuilding exercises along the way, cook-offs, rock-climbing, team barbeques, a bowl off in which we had a very surprise winner (who knew the marketing women could bowl? – I suspect not even her! and who knew that the Midwesterner chef who grew up in bowling family would stink it up so bad, although gracefully).
But the biggest teambuilding, bonding, moment is rallying around each other when in need.
Some of us spend in excess of 60 hours a week around each other, and even then, we are still in touch on days off.
From the teammate stepping out of a wedding because Prince called and we had to last minute get a surprise show on sale, to the manager showing up at 6am after closing at 1am because a repair needed to happen to be able to open the next day. We are there for each other, the company, and then, our guests.
But when someone is in real need, we are full on supportive.
From the server who got mugged and missed work and needed bill money, the team donated tips and we matched it, to a rock star server needing surgery for a home accident and the team raising money for a ‘bionic’ hand, with a hint of humor. To the sadness of some serious relationship break-ups and the hugs and shared tears that followed, we have been there. To the deaths of parents and grandparents that the team has shared, yes, we send flowers, but it’s the other conversations, the shared break time, the family meal conversation, these are the authentic moments of support.
And to the more serious, supporting a teammate with breast cancer with flexibility, humility, deference, and the broad shoulders of a company to pick up the slack, power on, but be supportive and empathic.
To the threatening, a teammate with Leukemia, a spokesperson for the brand, albeit occasionally waaayyy off script, and the teams ability to rally around what’s right. The other examples are anonymous on purpose, but this example I will share because, frankly, our friend Vinnie, likes the attention.
Vinnie is one of our most vocal servers, a consummate pro who thinks himself very funny (I can say thinks because he has a few moments, but sometimes some real bombs, and I love calling him out on it like any loved one in your family should) and because of this we have had one or two complaints, but the customer is not always right, and we recognize this.
Vinnie is a few weeks in with his aggressive treatment- his teammates have stepped up and he has had more visitors than anyone on the floor- I am proud of my team for the efforts. Vinnie is a loved member of his community outside of work so we have no worries about support, but the outpouring from the City Winery Family has been tremendous. We have a gofundme.com campaign that is closing in on $10k in almost 5 weeks!
To the more celebratory, we celebrate engagements, of all equalities, with toasts. We love birthdays, young, and old (or so the team called me!) and we our proud to say we have our first City Winery baby due right around our two-year anniversary! At City winery they will of course be ‘French babies’ – a little wine is ok?
This is more than enlightened hospitality. In many ways, for many of us, this is family.
We believe this is the ultimate in sustainability, our most important investment, our people.
To support our breast cancer efforts come in during June and purchase something Pink or support our cheering station in the Avon Walk on March 31st.
To support Vinnie go to www.gofundme.com\vinnies.