As Scott Wise prepares to sign an agreement for a ninth restaurant and scouts locations for a 10th and 11th, he's taking a break to come to Chicago.
The owner of Scotty's Brewhouse is bringing 48 employees to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Among them are the human resources director, training director and the general manager and kitchen manager from each of his restaurants. He also asked the GMs to each bring one or two of their "rising stars."
"I would love to take take everyone, but we have to keep the restaurants open," Wise says. "There's so much to learn, from the classrooms to the floor."
Wise has asked each to attend at least two education sessions, as well as scout the exhibits for ideas that could help the restaurants. Most are planning to see keynote speaker Bill Clinton Sunday, and Wise is taking the group to dinner at Revolution Brewing that night.
They'll also visit exhibiting companies that they work with throughout the year, and Wise will spend some time Sunday doing testimonials for PeopleMatter.
Additionally, the menu devlopment director, beverage hospitality director, Wise and a designer will visit six restaurants similiar to Scotty's Monday to compare drinks, food and atmosphere. Then they'll look for the things they liked Tuesday on the NRA Show floor.
Scotty's beverage hospitality director, brewer and a few bar managers also plan to attend the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event May 6 and 7 at the NRA Show.
Wise has been bringing employees to the NRA Show for the past 10 years, he says. "It's a great way to see new things coming out and trending in the industry."
This year, it will cost him about $40,000 to bring 48 people for four days. "It's so worth the value of the information you gather from the Show," he says.
Plus, a lot of exhibitors offer great deals at the NRA Show, he notes.
In addition to bringing team members to the NRA Show, Scotty's also has organized a busload of customers and other employees to join them Monday night at the Cub's game, where Wise will throw out the first pitch.
"I hope that anyone who reads this will come to the game and support us," he says. "I could use all the support I can get."