Employee Engagement & Development
Balancing compliance and a ‘rock and roll’ culture
5 locations and ~250 employees
New York City, New York
An up-and-coming Brooklyn-based restaurant group wanted to protect their business from employment lawsuits while maintaining their signature, “rock and roll” culture. 80% of their GMs and Chefs were promoted from within and depended on the client’s senior leadership team to provide general leadership and employee relations skills. The company had never had an HR resource, and the leadership team suspected, but was not certain, that they may have had some legal exposure. Understanding the importance of HR, the owners were faced with navigating today’s “politically correct” attitudes while supporting their employees’ freedom to be original.
Our E|H team partnered with the clients’ senior leaders to develop a leadership development curriculum and host regular manager meetings. We also conducted an employee file audit of over 150 files and helped the team make corrections where needed. Our team then implemented a structured, progressive discipline process and partnered with the leadership team on all termination decisions. We also revised, updated and tailored all of the client’s training documents and other employee resources to fit their personal ethos and culture.
The company has completely avoided employment lawsuits since our E|H team began our engagement over four years ago—despite several sensitive terminations. Management retention has increased, and several managers have grown into training-focused roles where they support new restaurant openings. E|H also trained the office administrator to onboard employees and process payroll compliantly, optimized their HRIS to automate as much as possible, and continues to perform periodic audits to ensure accuracy. The company’s HR compliance is kept current with minimal ongoing maintenance.
“Preserving the company’s spirit while building an HR infrastructure to support their growth was very rewarding. And after working together for so long, I feel like I am part of their team.”
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