One of your town’s most exclusive dining experiences exists behind the scenes, a meal most diners will never experience: the “family meal.”

At this table, restaurant teams join before or after their shifts to enjoy a nourishing meal while celebrating collaboration, inclusivity, and creativity.

Dishwashers, servers, and chefs alike contribute to the planning, preparation, and execution of the meal. Creativity flourishes as everyone works together, exchanging ideas and lending a helping hand, strengthening teams.

“Family meal is a ritual that unites our teams, providing a break from the norm and building stronger teams. I’m so appreciative when I’m on-site for a family meal. It is a great way to build trust and appreciation through teamwork.” 

– Long Nghiem, District Manager

Through their cuisine, team members share their cultural heritage with co-workers, fostering a sense of inclusivity and celebrating diversity. Food is a powerful catalyst for a deeper understanding of one another’s unique perspectives and cultural foodways.

Family meal is a chance for non-chefs to share their culinary skills and love of food. Family meal is a safe venue to experiment with new flavors, techniques, and ingredients. Everyone’s contributions are recognized and celebrated.

“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from participating in family meals is to embrace new experiences and not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s a safe space where peers encourage and support each other, even if it means trying something unconventional. Family meals taught me to be confident in my abilities and to seize opportunities to experiment and contribute to the culinary journey of the team.” -Brian Finch, Regional Chef

Dining staff arrive hours before typical meal times and leave hours after. So finding time to nourish and recharge can be difficult. This tradition guarantees everyone takes time for a much-needed break and the sustenance they need to serve others well.

During Family Meal, where the dishwasher becomes the chef, and the host is everyone seated at the table, it reminds us all that, in the kitchen and in life, there are no limitations placed on the joy of sharing good food and company, one bite at a time.