People Strategy

Strategic people leadership for growing restaurant portfolio


6 locations and ~100 employees


New York City, New York

Our Challenge

A venture capital firm was looking to build a capable, consistent HR foundation across its diverse and growing restaurant portfolio. Their investments were in classic, well-known New York City establishments, many of which had never had an official HR presence. With multiple acquisitions planned for the future, the firm needed to ensure compliance within its current portfolio as well as find an HR solution that could scale—all while maintaining the individual locations’ unique cultures, missions, visions, and values.

Our Solution

E|H aligned the portfolio companies on a single program plan, completing parallel HR discoveries across all locations to identify compliance gaps and address immediate concerns. Our team gained economies of scale by dedicating a single project team across all locations, cross-purposing core documents, and implementing one set of benefits plans to serve each portfolio company. While the communications and approach were tailored around each individual company’s needs, the overall solution to standardize the basic HR functions, including payroll and the HRIS, enabled Empowered to recruit and hire a single in-house resource to oversee and manage the portfolio.

The Results

With a strong HR foundation in place and the added consistency of a standard HRIS, the firm is well-positioned to shift its focus from laying a stable and compliant foundation to pursuing rapid growth. E|H will continue to support acquisitions, develop HR knowledge in the restaurant managers, and step in as needed to provide interim HR support and oversight to their growing in-house team.

“It was a tremendous learning experience to work alongside industry veterans, managing and overseeing multiple restaurants as one group—a true team effort from all stakeholders.”

— E|H director

Recent insights

Meet the experts

Melissa Kokai

HR Director

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Michelle Miller

HR Consultant

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Support that fits the way you do business

While our clients differ by size and industry, all of our HR services are designed to provide expert help where you need it the most. Once we learn the ins and outs of your business, we'll customize our support to your culture, budget and timeline.

How can we help?

Whether you have a specific need in mind or would simply like to discuss your options, we would be happy to have a free consultation. Reach out today and our team will be in touch!