For 14 years, people of all ages have savored the authentic Italian dishes prepared at Gahanna’s Lola and Giuseppe’s Trattoria (100 Granville Street). Steve Fancelli and his family bought the restaurant nearly 5 years ago from the original owners: Lola and Joe Iacabone, when the couple retired.
The intimate trattoria has become both a local and regional favorite to diners. It seats 38 people indoors and accommodates 12 more outside. In such a quaint space, the team finds working together and always looking for ways to assist one another is key.
“We all have a mutual agreement at every position to help one another out. Our team is great because it’s all about love – love for each other, love for our customers, and love for our work,” shared owner Fancelli.
Each staff member is also responsible for helping the restaurant to achieve its sales goals. These outcomes are a numerical reflection of a strong workplace culture reinforced by dedicated staff.
“Working in the food service industry is close to my heart,” shared staff member Autumn E. “In this small atmosphere, we really get to know one another. This is my fourth restaurant job, and I definitely like Lola and Giuseppe’s Trattoria the best even though I’ve only worked here for six months.”
“Our customers love us back. It’s the greatest feeling. It’s clear that everyone is taking responsibility to make sure we succeed. This high level of community ownership over a local business is quite endearing, and I hope it lasts for years to come,” said Fancelli.
Lola and Giuseppe’s is participating in the 24th Annual Taste of Gahanna that runs through November 11, 2021. A $130 value of food vouchers can be purchased from the Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce for $75 at gahannaareachamber.com/taste-of-gahanna.
To learn more, visit: LolaandGiuseppes.com
This Business Spotlight is part of a series of posts highlighting Small Business Week (Sept. 12-18, 2021) in Gahanna!
Since 2006, Café Creekside (53 Granville St.) has arisen as a premier family-run, cornerstone business at the intersection of Mill and Granville streets in Gahanna. As a gateway business into the infamous Creekside district, chef and owner Chris Katanyuta takes seriously the impact of an old-fashioned diner upon a steadily growing and increasingly modernizing community.
“As the owner of Café Creekside, my job is to get to know the families of our customers and employees. Our local brand and strong reputation at the Gahanna Lincoln High School has resulted in Café Creekside being regarded as one of the top workplaces for young adults. This is all a testament to our workplace culture and old-fashioned values,” shared Chris.
The 11-member crew is also led by Chris’ daughter, Anna Katanyuta. The mother-daughter team shared that while their workforce pipeline is reinforced through employee referrals from the Gahanna Lincoln High School, employee retention is predicated upon treating young employees like adults.
“Giving young employees ownership and responsibility over their tasks really helps them build character and gives them the skills to provide service in a sincere way for each customer,” explained Chris.
The family-like workplace culture at Café Creekside is a proven technique that has resulted in high levels of workforce retention. For instance, Chris described how she even works with the family members of her employees to provide additional accountability and professional development. This comprehensive, yet aggressive, approach has been embraced by employees and their families.
“I get along with the management and owner really well,” shared Brandon A. “They treat me the way they expect me to treat others. They treat me like an adult. I really like that, and they are always looking out for everybody. They cook us meals, and it really shows how much they care about us.”
“I had been coming here for years with my family before I started working here. Café Creekside commemorates loyal customers who have passed away by affixing a special plaque on a dining chair. My dad passed away, and there is a memorial table for him along with a chair with a special plaque. I’m so grateful to the staff here. It’s really all love and smiles. And my two sisters and future brother-in-law also all work here, so it truly is a family,” said Victoria N.
Café Creekside is currently hiring an experienced breakfast flat-top grill cook. Interested? Apply through the Café Creekside’s Facebook page or stop in and ask for an application.
This Business Spotlight is the first in a series of posts highlighting Small Business Week (Sept. 12-18, 2021) in Gahanna!
Stadium, (101 Mill St. Suite B105) is one of Creekside Gahanna’s most vibrant small businesses.
Stadium’s owner-operator Phil Richardson uses a variety of techniques to retain 27 employees and recruit talent for its seven open positions. Since it opened in June 2020, Stadium has retained nearly half its original staff despite the turbulence across almost all industries.
Richardson, an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, was previously a general manager at The Walrus and Pecan Pennies, both located in downtown Columbus. Phil follows in his grandfather’s footsteps – who operated George’s BBQ restaurants in Oklahoma. Today, Phil carries on secret family recipes through Stadium’s menu offerings.
Despite a nationwide workforce shortage in the food and beverage industry, Phil has found success by offering an employee referral bonus coupled with a 90-day new employee retention bonus. To retain employees, Richardson proactively creates a sense of vulnerability among his crew, enabling them to comfortably approach management with their concerns and needs.
“I ask all my employees to be especially understanding as we navigate the unpredictable pandemic. This helps forge a better team environment, especially as we consider the impact of being understaffed.”
Richardson not only provides hands-on training, but he also takes his crew on field trips to better understand the broader supply chain process and unique production systems of local brewers.
“Understanding the food and beverage industry is key in helping employees appreciate the craft. Employees become more empowered to participate in company decisions. I take seriously customer service training by instilling proactive, rapid engagement with all customers,” Richardson explained.
To cement Stadium’s place at Creekside, Richardson’s team develops strong relationships with local customers, making Stadium incredibly welcoming. He described how local workers often come by after work. Conversely, Richardson is looking to grow Stadium’s regional brand by driving foot traffic from across the entire Columbus metropolitan area into Gahanna’s bustling Creekside District.
Fall is a time for crisp, cool weather, perfect to get outside and enjoy your Gahanna parks. Take a look at our new Parks & Rec Fall Program Guide.
Be sure to visit ExploreGahannaParks.com to stay updated on all new programs, classes and events. We are looking forward to a fun and active fall/winter season.
The City of Gahanna is now hiring for positions in Planning, Finance, Parks & Rec and Public Service & Engineering. Interested candidates can apply here: governmentjobs.com/careers/gahanna
In anticipation of the next phase of the Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey (SSES) – Western Gahanna, you are invited to attend a town hall meeting on Tuesday, September 14, beginning at 7:00 pm, in Council Chambers (City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Rd.). An update on the status of the SSES project will be covered in a brief presentation by City staff. Following the presentation, time will be dedicated for residents to ask questions in an open forum.
This meeting will also be livestreamed on our YouTube channel: YouTube.com/CityofGahanna. To attend in person, please preregister using the form linked below, as space is limited. The recording of this meeting will be available for viewing after the conclusion of the town hall for those not able to attend or watch the meeting live.
Preregistration form is HERE. (space is limited)
To submit questions or comments, form is HERE.
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