Working with independent restaurateurs and their beautiful restaurants in the Dinova Marketplace is very rewarding. Corporations, restaurateurs and Dinova folk pool talent, passion and teamwork that prosper restaurants, save corporations money, and provide business travelers amazing regional dining experiences while on the road for work, I have a special fondness and respect for the restaurant owners and operators with whom I work because they are always experimenting with their art, they work hard and respect the numbers.
As a kid, I once took a test that said people who like what I like I become chefs (among a handful of other things, like police officers, but that’s a different tale). I do not recall what the similarities were, but I am confident that at the top of the list was a love of the artistry in things. For a year or so of college I was an art major, but, alas the inspiration to create art was not a driving force but experiencing art lights my heart on fire. In my work at Dinova, every day and especially on Fridays, I get to witness an amazing regalia of beautiful dishes on parade as restaurateurs display their wares on social media. Spectacular colors and shapes, and my mind’s recollection of delicious meats, seafood, fruit and veggies are an epicurean adventure. I can smell the glory from my computer.
You can’t luck your way to success in the restaurant business. It requires hard work, hustle, an incredible chemistry of personalities working together with strengths and weaknesses to pull off the brilliant (imagine perfect French Fries). I admire work. There is dignity in work. Work is fun (for the most part). My dad was an entrepreneur and a hard worker. He would come home after work, run from his car into the house, change into his work clothes whooping it up with “Ha-Haas” and “Hee-Hees!” I can hear his footsteps in my head—it makes me smile. Then he would run out outside, day after day, year after year to work on his passions (cars, burning things and such). Work is good. I respect the work that goes into the restaurant business.
Clearly numbers are important in measuring success for any business. Dinova restaurant owners and operators want to be able to measure their success with Dinova companies. Even though I’m not a numbers gal, I respect numbers. For ten years I had the good fortune to work with a top compensation survey company, selling compensation survey data to technology companies so they could attract and retain top talent. I learned how valuable numbers are in seeing reality. Numbers can uncover fascinating stories about growth, appropriate targets, what’s working and what isn’t. Numbers at Dinova restaurants indicate higher transactions, weekday business and growth as more and more business travelers become aware of and choose to dine at Dinova restaurants. That’s what we want to see.
Dinova is built on an uncomplicated business model. Companies direct their employees to use specific restaurants when using a corporate credit card on the job. This would include admins and meeting managers ordering for office events and executive dinners, as well as business travelers on the road for work. Since dining is part of the overall work and travel experience that helps motivate and retain top talent, companies have a strong incentive to promote Dinova restaurants in their travel programs. Plus, it saves them money. As companies pour more of their dining spend in to Dinova restaurants, restaurants see this profitable expense-account diner segment of their overall market grow. Everybody wins.