Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

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.

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 or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


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.


This Physician Is on a Mission to Empower Home Health Aides. Here's How She's Doing It.

Dr. Madeline Sterling shares how she's working to improve the lives of home health aides and their patients. Plus, her advice on other researchers trying to pioneer a new space in their field.

Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani on Finding Food Fame

Interview with the CEO Fabio Viviani about how culture should be the number one goal for any business, finding — and using — celebrity, and learning to stick to a specific system.

How to Fix Brain Fog and Boost Your Focus

The No.1 productivity killer is brain fog. Here are Ben Angel's tips for beating brain fog and boosting focus.

How One Small Button Can Transform the Creator Economy from a Buzz Word to an Actual Economic Model

The co-founder and CEO of PIP, a creator economy monetization solution, shares how his company is helping content creators get paid more easily.

This Company Wants to Pay You for Your Steps. Here's How it Works.

The co-founder and CEO of Sweatcoin explains how the company’s move-to-earn vision is helping people be healthier while also getting brands in front of 100 million users.

Javier Correa of Sombrero Mexican Food on Restaurant Expansion Strategy

Interview with Sombrero Mexican Food Owner Javier Correa Jr. on celebrity endorsements, finding an effective pace, and the balance of scaling a business.

Do You Inspire the Best in People? Apply for the Tony Hsieh Award

The Tony Hsieh Award seeks out progressive, value-driven leaders and innovators

3 Ways to Achieve 'Superhuman Focus' in Just Two Weeks

Focus is a valuable asset for any entrepreneur. Here's how to upgrade your energy, focus, and drive.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You're Thinking About Becoming a Health Coach

The chief revenue officer at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition shares how the program works and the myriad of ways you can use a health coaching certification.

Josh Altman and Matt Proman Are Teaming Up to Disrupt the Real Estate Industry

Serial entrepreneur Matt Proman and real estate mogul and 'Million Dollar Listing LA' star Josh Altman have joined forces to launch

Robert "Don Pooh" Cummins of Brooklyn Chop House on Opening Restaurant Doors

Interview with the Brooklyn Chop House owner and franchising expert about working in the music industry, opening restaurants, and creating avenues for black entrepreneurs.

Feeling Unmotivated? 3 Biohacks to Supercharge Your Focus and Drive

Here's Ben Angel on the top three motivation myths and how to use biohacking to become more focused.

This Physician Wants to Change the Way You Carry Your Baby

Dr. Lena Shahbandar is a physician and entrepreneur who designed a new baby carrier to help parents and caregivers reduce back and joint pain.

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.

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.