City Winery Chicago gives back this holiday season with a new employee initiative, “Service Beyond the Table.” Led by Dan Morgridge, one of our floor managers, the initiative is to encourage all of our employees to get involved to give back a little during the holiday season. Read what Dan has to say about the company’s first outing on December 16, 2014:
If I told you that google had absolutely zero results for the phrase “community service in the service industry”, would you be surprised? That probably depends on if you work in the industry. If there is one thing our staff is exceptional at, it is providing great service. From seaters to CEO, I’ve personally seen some very generous acts and and some very loving care given to our guests as well as each other.
But those who have been in the industry know that while this average server can do so many kind deeds, they are often short of time to do them off the clock. They’re often working tables around some other commitment – school, music, theater, or even a second or third job. And the opportunities most marketed and presented by service and charity donations are usually in direct conflict with their work schedule.
But still: can we do something more with this? Can’t we take this great big army of hospitality and use it for more than a tip?
Upon investigation, I found inspiration from some of the off-hours do-gooders on our staff – of which I learned there are quite a few! After hearing of several people’s ability to continually volunteer at several organizations, I decided to see if our whole staff was up for a challenge.
We’re calling it Service Beyond The Table. The goal is this: over the next three months, we want to get half of our staff involved in a service activity. These can be activities that they already do, these can be one offs, these can be a big old party of community service that we’ll try and organize.
Our first outing was organized by our pastry chef, Angelica Rangel. She took a group of us to work on a toy drive organization trip, where several staff members helped sort and package toy donations for thousands of kids in need across Chicagoland.
One of our servers also devised a way for busy staff to give something without giving up time – she’s set up a food donation bin for us to give to a local food pantry. If you want to get in on the giving spirit as well, bring your donations to us!
We’re hoping as the holiday season progresses, we’ll have even more leaders step up and gather some of our fantastic City Winery hospitality together for ever more good deeds. If you have a cause or activity you think would be a good fit, we’d love to hear about it – drop us a line and help us help others!