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Friday, May 14, 2010

Team Appreciation Day at Eat’n Park

Last Friday night, I was seeing strawberries in my sleep. Don’t worry, I’m not going on another tangent about how much we love them here at Eat’n Park (just click here if you want to hear about that). No, I was dreaming about strawberries because I spent the day making strawberry pies at our Natrona Heights Eat’n Park in Pittsburgh, PA. I “plucked” enough strawberries for more than a dozen pies – and that’s a lot of strawberries!

I had the privilege of this duty because Friday was Team Appreciation Day at Eat’n Park. Every year, the folks from our headquarters (myself included) head out into the field to spend a day working alongside the team members who are the face of our company. This day is a tradition that’s taken place for the last 19 years, and it’s a great opportunity for us to thank the team members whose hard work and enthusiasm day in and day out make Eat’n Park the special place that it is.

I started my day with a lesson from Scott, who trained me on the proper way to make a strawberry pie. Of course, this involved the tedious aforementioned task of “plucking” (removing the tops from) a massive quantity of strawberries. I do believe that I detected Scott trying to hide a smug grin as he watched me fumble with the giant berries. Then, I learned how to properly place the berries in the shell so that they’d form a sturdy mound, then glaze them without disturbing the eye-pleasing shape. Who knew that so much care went in to making each and every pie? I came away with a new appreciation for the pies and the team members who handcraft them every day during this time of year.

Scott and his cohorts really put me to work on Friday, and I enjoyed every minute of it. In the dining room, I got to talk to some of the restaurant’s regulars, who referred to their servers like they were old friends. It was a reminder of why Eat’n Park is the Place for Smiles – our team members take their jobs to heart and treat our guests like family.

All in all, I had a great day and am already looking forward to next year. And next time I enjoy a piece of strawberry pie, I’ll be sure to savor every bite, knowing the time and care that someone put into making that gorgeous slice of heaven.

Team Smiley Share

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