For those who want to know everything.

OverEasy

OverEasy

Colorado Springs

Check Out Their Website: HERE

Accolades: Urban Spoon’s 101 great breakfasts in the U.S. #11.

Key words: Great leadership, loyalty, team, caring.

Sister Restaurants: Salsa Brava, Sonterra Grill.

I begin this stage with a quick meeting with the owner and creator of OverEasy, Randy Price.  He introduces me to the service team and I am taken into the office to fill out some stage paperwork. Manny, the executive Chef, is enjoying his breakfast in the comfort of the office, sees I am doing a stage and introduces the theme of the shift with, “We’re the best.”

“Well, that’s why I am here,” I tell him.

After all, OverEasy is number 11 on TripAdvisor’s list of new brunch places that are worth the visit. But I’m not here because of the food, I am interested in the service team.

 

In Colorado Springs there is a rumor that working for Randy Price is a good thing.  He has gained his reputation in town from years of being a restaurateur. OverEasy is not his only restaurant and it’s not his first, but it sure is getting all the attention.  I ask Ashley, who has been with the company for over three years, why OverEasy has become so popular. She says, “It’s what the Colorado Springs Community needed.”

I agree with her. Brunch spots are gaining in popularity and OverEasy does it right. Fresh squeezed juices, a full service espresso bar and a build your own bloody Mary bar.

The OverEasy Nevada location is bright and cheery, from the interior to the staff. They utilize the natural lighting by growing a large plant wall and their own herbs.

It’s pretty cool.


I mentioned that the staff was cheery and bright. You may wonder how one finds an entire staff of this breed.  The answer is in the staging.

A stage [stahj] is a term for a trial shift to see if the hire would be a good fit for the team and culture of a particular restaurant.  Everyone here has been through the staging process.

Too many restaurants hire fast or haphazardly.  OverEasy is picky about who they hire and more importantly, who they keep on.

We have gotten rid of people right at the orientation phase. They were doing all the right things, plugging in the right holes, giving the right answers, but at some point we have to say ‘hey this is just not working.’
When I ask Jennifer, the FOH manager, if they believe in the hire slow and fire fast mentality, she says they do.  “We have gotten rid of people right at the orientation phase. They were doing all the right things, plugging in the right holes, giving the right answers, but at some point we have to say ‘hey this is just not working.’ ”

And they honor the input of the service team,  “If someone [on the service team] says something valid, and more than one person says it, it has weight,” says Jennifer.

It sounds like trust and accountability is running rampant in this business.

Maybe that’s why Jason, a server originally from San Diego, can’t seem to move back there, even though he wants to.  “I keep trying to leave, but Randy and Liz are the reason I keep staying.”  Can you imagine having a boss that is so awesome that they affect your life decisions?

IamWaitress.com  drives home the importance of being an involved service leader, and Jason validates that theory.  “Randy is here all the time. I can go to him and have a conversation about anything  going on in the restaurant. He is so hands on and so passionate about what he wants to accomplish and achieve.”

Because there is vision and direction from the owner, “There’s no nonsense to deal with from the hierarchy,  it’s really easy to bring an a-game to work.”

There is a lesson here. Many unsuccessful restaurateurs have murky vision, usually something along the lines of becoming rich and gaining notoriety. And that’s totally fine, but when they don’t provide insight or direction as to how to create it, that’s a problem. In those scenarios the success of a restaurant usually falls onto the shoulders of a bewildered and resentful manager, and that affects the entire staff.

Jason is not the only person that loves the company. Ashley has been with Randy’s restaurant group for three and a half years, and Heather has been here long enough to be a trainer, but her husband also works for the family company. And who is Heather training? A woman named Lindsay who used to work for Randy. She says she is thrilled that she can “come back to such a great job and group of people.”

Good stuff here people, good stuff.

And not only does everyone that I spoke with talk about the strong sense of team, and the feeling of family, and the accountability, but I see it in action too.

  • When overcooked bacon is brought back to the kitchen, there is no grumbling or complaining, they just get better bacon.
  • “Runner please!” is met with a rush of servers…and they don’t look put out!?!
  • Running low on ice? Kayleigh doesn’t wait for it to get lower, or wait for a busser to stock it, she just does it.
  • “Are your running to 30? Would you drop this on 20?”  And the answer is a cheerful, “sure!”

 

OverEasy teaches us that unless we utilize every moment to act like a team, we’re not really a team, only a well intentioned concept.

 

Thank you Randy and Liz Price for owning such a great place and allowing me to learn from and write about it. Thank you Jennifer for being a great manager.  And thank you to the FOH team: Colin, Brandi, Matalee, Heather, Mike, Kayleigh, Brittany, Alesha, Alex and Jen. A special thanks to Jason, Ashley, Matthew and Heather for answering my zillion questions.

If you, lovely reader, have comments or questions for myself or this team, use the comments area below!

 

2 Comments
  1. That sounds like it was so much fun, Jennifer! And it proves, once again, that we take our cues from the management team and owners. There are so many amazing servers out there working for unappreciative, disrespectful bosses and it doesn’t have to be that way. I love the “hire first and fire fast” mentality. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Sounds like you’re having a good time!

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Website: http://iamWaitress.com
Email: jennifer@iamWaitress.com