Parent company to Ace Eat Serve, Steuben's Food Service and Vesta Dipping Grill is Secret Sauce. Not only do they provide delicious food and drinks to Denver, they provide their employees with happiness and healthiness through their employee wellness programs and healthy living initiatives.
Health Links (HL): Why is wellness important for you company?
Secret Sauce (SS): Wellness is important because it provides a more balanced work environment for everyone. When you provide wellness for your employees you have healthier employees. Healthier employees mean you have happier employees which in turn create happier customers – healthy employees provide a positive energy at the restaurant.
HL: What are your goals for providing health and safety for your workers?
SS: Our overall vision is to move the hospitality industry to promote a more balanced lifestyle. Often people are in the industry and have multiple jobs or multiple things going on and they can get stuck not pursuing their dreams. We want to create a place to give people a chance to be everything they’ve always wanted to be.
HL: What do you find most challenging about promoting and implementing your wellness program?
SS: With a large staff and multiple shifts throughout the day it can be challenging to create programs that work with all of the varying schedules. We always have to think of ways to include the kitchen staff who come in the morning to prep for the day as well as the servers who work in the late afternoon until the restaurant closes at 2am. To try to help connect all of our staff we close the restaurant or 2 days out of the year and invite all of our employees to a company-wide party. This allows people to connect when they otherwise wouldn’t. We also invite anyone to engage in the activities outside of work like the Bolder Boulder, the Tough Mudder, etc.
HL: How do you define success for your health and safety programs?
SS: We determine success by the number of employees who participate in the programs we create. When there is more engagement in the programs it leads to higher retention rates for our restaurant. Keeping our employees engaged and excited about work is really important.
HL: What tips or advice do you have for other businesses that are just getting their programs started?
SS: Find someone who is passionate about wellness and get them engaged first. Their enthusiasm will spark the interest of others to join. Also, it is important to start small. Just getting things started with something that can be built upon later. Finally, having your owner or leader support the program is essential. They have a lot of influence on what happens in the workplace and when they are on-board it is easier to get everyone else on-board as well.