Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Jennifer Allen of Levy Restaurants on a Commitment to Company Culture

Interview with Levy Restaurants VP of Restaurants Operations Jennifer Allen about running successful businesses, being a "restaurant girl", and her company's strong values.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways from this episode:

A Family CultureLevy Restaurants leads with a family culture. Jennifer Allen attributes a piece of Levy's success to the employees genuinely enjoying each other's company.

Meeting Specific Market Needs — The best food from the best chefs is the basis for what Jennifer Allen says sets Levy Restaurants apart from the competition. However, favorites vary from region to region, and Levy adjusts to meet those needs by using data.

Remember... It's Fun — Jennifer Allen knows the pressures that come with planning large events. With those pressures, Allen says it is important for companies to remember they are in the business of providing and having fun.

***

It takes great people to run great companies. Levy Restaurants became great by priding itself on a commitment to culture.

Jennifer Allen is Vice President of Restaurant Operations at Levy Restaurants and a self-proclaimed "restaurant girl" who takes pride in the family-focused environment at Levy.

One of the first things Jennifer noticed about the company was how many strong females there were in important, decision-making roles.

"I think one of the things that was really interesting to me about Levy in the time that I joined was that there were a significant amount of female leaders in this company that was mostly sports and entertainment venues," says Jennifer Allen on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

That realization was an early indicator of the family atmosphere and growth potential at Levy Restaurants.

Levy Restaurants operates nearly 200 sports and entertainment venues all over the United States and Canada. From striving to hire (and retain) the best people and make the best food, the Chicago-based company has been able to grow significantly since its founding in 1978.

Jennifer Allen is responsible for Levy's Chicago, Orlando, Saint Paul, Milwaukee restaurant properties, as well as American Girl's flagship Chicago and New York stores. Her expansive influence and rapid growth in the company embodies the core culture that has been created within Levy.

Levy Restaurants Values:

  1. Be Nice
  2. Be Passionate
  3. Be Innovative
  4. Be Inclusive

Boasting both sports entertainment and restaurant venues in a multitude of locations, Levy Restaurants makes it a point to not only serve, but ensure they are serving the best food they can by following the data. Instead of trying to follow the latest trends, Levy Restaurants sets themselves apart by using research and demographics to provide a unique customer experience at their locations.

With all of the moving parts that go into the sports and entertainment restaurant industries, Jennifer Allen is able to power through each day due to one idea that she says is important to keep at the top of mind:

"Really be excited about it… Remember, we're here because it's fun."

***

NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing influencers@calibbq.media or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.

ABOUT RESTAURANT INFLUENCERS:

Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Popmenu is also a sponsor of the Restaurant Influencers podcast. We wanted to share with our audience this powerful opportunity to help your restaurant reclaim the power of your phone now. Learn more about Popmenu Answering.

Latest

Trying to Pinpoint the Pinnacle of Your Story? Think Back to Your Biggest Setback

Journalist Amy Shoenthal shares her research around how we handle setbacks and why they aren't always a bad thing.

Momofuku CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal on Rising To The Top

Interview with Momofuku CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal about playing the long game, finding strategic partnerships, new restaurant technology, and not being obsessed with perfection.

Are You a Social Media Addict? Here's 5 Unexpected Ways to Quit

Is social media the problem behind your lack of focus? Ben Angel discusses the effects of social media on the brain and our ability to focus.

Meet the Entrepreneur and Mom Teaching Kids About Volunteering Through Family Projects

The founder of Alltrusits shares how she's helping families talk about topics such as homelessness, bees, clean water, hunger, foster animals and climate action.

Chef Robert Irvine on Making a Difference in Hospitality — and the World

Interview with World-Famous Chef and Philanthropist Robert Irvine of The Robert Irvine Brand Family about supporting others, embracing a military culture in business, and the essence of leadership.

How to Unlock Your Company's Value in the 'Circular Economy'

Michael Smith of Regeneration.VC shares how the circular economy works and why it's good for business and our planet.

BBQ Icon Rodney Scott on Blazing Your Own Path in the Restaurant Business

Interview with famed pitmaster and food entrepreneur Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott's BBQ about every day being a good day, the truth behind "overnight" celebrity, and how cooking with soul is vital to sustained success.

3 Easy Ways To Be More Motivated

Want to tackle your to-do list in just two weeks? In this video, Ben Angel tells you how.

The Founder of Mindvalley Wants to Transform and Reinvent Education. Here's Why.

The founder of Mindvalley shares why he started his platform and discusses his new book, "The 6 Phase Meditation Method."

This Teacher-Turned-Entrepreneur Started Tutoring Kids in Parks and Churches. Today, She Runs an Education Company with Nearly One Million Followers

The CEO and founder of Big City Readers talk about why she's on a mission to make reading fun for kids and their parents. Plus, what to do if you're afraid to take a leap in your career.

Melissa Villanueva of Brewpoint Coffee on Creating Avenues for Café Owners of Color

Interview with Brewpoint Coffee CEO and Founder Melissa Villanueva about balancing community and larger ambitions, creating opportunities for people of color, and equity and inclusion in business.

4 Easy Ways to Make More Money By Training Your Brain

Mental rehearsal is a powerful psychological technique that's used by athletes, billionaires, and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

5 Tips to Help You Go from Camera-Shy to Camera-Ready

Media trainer Jessica Abo reveals her go-to production tips so you can feel more confident for your next on-air appearance, pitch, or presentation.

Shone Tran of Chicken Meets Rice on Stepping into Food Entrepreneurship

Interview with Chicken Meets Rice co-founder Shone Tran about pulling inspiration from tragedy, taking small steps, and thriving in business with your best friend.

Try This 15-Minute Million Dollar Morning Routine To Energize Your Day

Here are six steps you can take to amplify your energy and grow your income.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.