Closing a restaurant takes almost as much discipline and dedication as opening a new property – as evidenced in shuttering a longtime establishment this week to re-concept for another one.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has an entire manual on the “how-tos” but you also need a strong team and commitment. Some highlights:
First, the human resources department meets with all the employees months before the closing to explain the process and what will occur over the next few months. This helps relieve any staff anxiety and provides opportunities for questions.
Then our recruiting department and management team help interview
and place any and all staff members who want to transfer. This process can take weeks of calls, interviews and placements while taking care of their usual everyday duties.
In fact, all management and hourly staff that wanted to be transferred
and stay on with LEYE were transferred to other restaurants. Our
commitment to our employees is exemplary.
Most, if not all, of the staff stayed until the very last night, even
though we told them over two months prior about the closing and they
could have easily just said “forget it, I’m going somewhere else.” It’s a testament to the culture, commitment and leadership of that management team and our employees.
Instead of fading away, the last week was an incredibly busy one. Ben Pao fans wanted to taste their favorites one last time, another tribute to the reputation and memories that Ben Pao had with its guests. The kitchen did not disappoint in delivering great food until the end. The kitchen also did not run out of one dish.
The location will remain with LEYE and a new, exciting restaurant will
soon open. But it is great to know Ben Pao closed with honor and dignity, an overall tribute to LEYE culture.