The Power of CHART: Having a Very Gabe Day

April 05, 2016 | 2588 Views

The Power of CHART: Having a Very Gabe Day

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

The events of today really reinforced for me the professional importance of CHART and why I’m so excited to attend our 92ndHospitality Training Conference in Charleston this summer.

Because today was a very Gabe day. Here’s what I mean: 

  • It started when I arrived at the office and a set of thank-you cards I had ordered were sitting in my mailbox. I had been sending out generic cards to employees and colleagues, but during the recent CHART conference in Seattle, Gabe Hosler from Rubio’s (shown in the photo on my left) showed me the personalized Training & Development cards and envelope seals that his department uses. I liked the idea so much that I immediately began working on a design for my own card, and today they were ready to be doled out to those who assist me in connecting ambitious candidates with opportunities to learn and grow at Ivar’s. 
  • After getting settled, I went to our adjoining restaurant to begin teaching a new class on hospitality and service for our front-of-house employees. It was the first time I had delivered this class, and although it was going well, there was one point where I still didn’t quite feel as though I had a proper transition between sections. I needed a quick activity to help bring it all together, and I remembered one that Gabe had used during a competency class we co-facilitated at the CHART conference in Napa that I thought might work – asking people to take out a piece of paper and, from memory, draw a penny in 60 seconds. The point of this exercise was to illustrate that there are some things that are so common that we can take them for granted, and it served as a perfect launching pad for the next module on Ivar’s steps of service. 
  • Following the class and a brief break for lunch, I returned to my desk to catch up on some emails. One of the messages was from our Seafood Bar Division Regional Manager – she had just promoted a new District Manager, and that new DM was in need of some communication training, specifically on how to craft more professional emails. I sent her over the link for the 2015 webinar that Gabe had delivered (and which you can access as well on the CHART website) titled “E-mail: There is a Right Way to Do It!” and suggested they both watch the presentation and discuss it afterward.  “Perfect!” she responded. 
  • Finally, early this afternoon I had a meeting with the quick-service leadership team about an upcoming product rollout for which they need some new training materials. I could only smile by this point in the day because I knew exactly what the rollout information packet would look like, since the template I use was presented by Gabe and his Rubio’s co-worker, Melanie Johnson, during a breakout they facilitated at the Austin CHART conference four years ago. And to top things off, the look and style of that packet was inspired by Gabe’s submission to the 2014 Training High Five Awards, where he shared his idea for trainers to partner with their marketing departments to “advertise to team members” using company fonts and colors to make their materials look more professional (member can access this by logging into the Trainer's Toolbox section of website)

So yes, I’m definitely looking forward to the CHART conference in Charleston this summer because, as the tagline of the event reads, “Your next great idea starts here!”  I know that I’m going to pick up even more ideas from Gabe Hosler and from every other attendee with whom I connect at the receptions, the dinner activities, and the Hospitality Suite. I’m excited to see the amazing concepts presented during the Training High Five, the new products available at the Resource Gallery, and the important lessons of the breakout sessions.  And I can’t wait to hear about the brief blasts of brilliance delivered during the CHART Talks on Tuesday morning!

The true power of CHART is that it allows me to have a Gabe day or a Jen day or a John day when I really need them. All the great ideas I pick up from one conference to another continue to make me a better trainer and Ivar’s a stronger company, and for that I am truly thankful.

And speaking of thanks, Gabe, if you’re reading this, the first of my new thank-you cards is headed your way for all the help you’ve given me today!


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