Brewhouse Blog

Scotty's Team Visits Chicago

Dining at Chicago's trendiest restaurants, third row seats to the Cub's game, open bar at the city's hottest club. Sounds like the life a rock star, but that is just what 50 Scotty's managers and executives got to experience this past weekend as Scotty took his team to the National Restaurant Association Trade show.

Each year managers and corporate team members visit Chicago to attend the annual trade show held at McCormick Place. The group spends their days talking to vendors, attending educational sessions and testing the latest technology in the hospitality sector.
"I really enjoyed getting to meet the vendors that we deal with everyday," said Wendy Hantelman, Director of HR.  "Much of my area of the business is done over the phone, so getting to shake hands and really talk to people was fantastic!"
This year's event was highlighted by a keynote address by former President Bill Clinton. Those who attended the event waited over an hour for President Clinton to arrive after the Chicago airport was closed due to weather. His plane was forced to land in Gary, Indiana and then he drove up from there, Clinton told the crowd after apologizing for being late.
"It certainly was a long wait, but seeing Bill Clinton speak was a once-in-a-lifetime, awesome experience," said Jason Podell, GM for Scotty's in West Lafayette. 

The days may be informative, but at night is where the real fun begins. This year's trip included dinners at Revolution Brewery and Rockit Burger Bar, cocktails at the Public House and Rockit Bar and Grill, but the highlight of the event was the Cubs game where Scotty threw out the first pitch.

"Having my wife, kids, parents, sisters, 40 top management and 50 more guests/employees get to witness a "Field of Dreams" memory like that made it even more special," said Scotty Wise, President & CEO of a Pots & Pans Production restaurant management company for Scotty's concepts.

"As incredible as it was, I'm so glad it is over.  I've had so many sleepless nights and messages from friends, 'do not throw the ball in the dirt, get it across the plate,' over the past month, it was nice to get a full nights sleep finally."
The Chicago trip is an added benefit of working at Scotty's and costs the company nearly $40,000. Those attending do not have to pay for anything on the trip unless they decided to do something outside of the agenda. Wise believes these types of team building trips are well worth the cost.

"The most important part of that weekend was for our management team to spend time together outside our restaurants.  I know it is cliché; but, it is 100% about the journey, not the destination. And, the "working hard," makes the "playing hard" all part of the journey equation that I believe in. My management team is my family.  Our blood, sweat and tears are in everything we do for this company.  And, at the end of the day, the culture of this company is the most important part of our survival, it cannot be trained or taught, it has to be learned, lived and absorbed thru weekends like that."
Other employees agree. 
"Being able to socialize and spend time getting to know our teammates better during the events we have scheduled outside of time spent in educational sessions and on the show floor is such an incredible experience and a unique opportunity that our company provides," reflected Rachel Redwine-Nelson, Chief Branding Officer. "The memories that we create with each other will last a lifetime and go a long way toward developing and maintaining the awesome sense of camaraderie and family that Scott's company is so well known for."
"It was a great experience!  It's not often you have an opportunity to spend time with your co-workers and really get to know them outside of our normal working environment.  We were able to relax and enjoy ourselves and strengthen our team in the process," said Kim Lewandowski, Welcome Team Coordinator.

To all the photos from this year's trip. Click here.