WESTFIELD, NJ, July 14, 2022 – The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) today announced that Jason Lyon, President and COO of Flatbread Company, Inc., is the recipient of its 2022 Commitment to People Award. Jason will be honored at the Commitment to People Awards Celebration on Tuesday evening, August 2, during CHART’s 102nd Hospitality Training Conference at the JW Marriott in Austin, TX.
“Jason’s journey in hospitality began at the age of 14 as a dishwasher for the Common Man Family of Restaurants. His 27-year ‘home grown’ experience there was instrumental in forming his philosophy of how leadership should support and collaborate with team members,” said Monique Donahue, CHART President. “At Flatbread Company, he’s wasted no time bringing those values to life, and putting Flatbread Company on the path to be an exceptional employer of choice. It’s rare that a current CHART member receives the Commitment to People award, and we are very proud of Jason and his impact on CHART and our industry.”
A common theme in his team’s award application was transparency. Always clear and direct, communications from Jason are rooted in creating a safe, socially responsible, and inclusive environment. Jason minces no words when it comes to inclusivity and leading this charge. In a letter to employees about the death of George Floyd and in support of Black Lives Matter, he stated “We stand for equality, liberty, and justice for all. Stand with us; together in unity with peace and love in our hearts for each other.”
Jason’s team offered many other examples. He championed for the HR Manager as she created an annual unconsicous bias and sexual harassment training program as well as a We Care Hotline for team members to reach out anonymously if they are feeling uncomfortable in the restaurant. Focused Human Resources initiatives over the past two years have included launching an enhanced benefits package that includes eight hours of paid volunteer time, generous paid vacation time, and premium paid holidays for all hourly employees. Managers can also receive up to six weeks of paid Family Medical Leave.
“It is a tremendous honor not only to have been nominated by my team members but also to receive CHART’s Commitment to People Award. As a 15-year member of the organization I have always held the distinction in high regard and feel privileged to join the company of this highly accomplished cohort of leaders in our industry,” said Lyon. “My deepest appreciation goes to my team; this award is not about me – it’s about them. Without their continued honest feedback, dedication as well as support we would not be the company, the community advocate or the family that we are today. I want to thank them for their passionate commitment and unwavering pursuit of baking up the very best pizza we can imagine. I’d also like to thank our founder, Jay Gould, who not only created a culture that allows us to renew our spirit but above all encourages us to walk-the-walk by prioritizing people over profits.”
Created in 1993, this prestigious award is given annually to a CHART member’s CEO/president in the hospitality industry who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the development of their associates.
CHART’s Selection Committee reviews and ranks the Commitment to People nominees in four categories:
- Effective communication of the organization’s culture
- Programs that demonstrate a commitment to people
- Efforts to be involved in the development of people
- Ability to break down barriers to create opportunities
The past recipients of this prestigious award can be found on CHART’s website at: http://www.chart.org/membership-and-community/awards-and-scholarships.html
Contact: Lisa Marovec, 312.405.2634, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHART (chart.org), a non-profit professional association founded in 1970, is the leading resource for the development and advancement of hospitality training professionals and their organizations. With more than 500 members from more than 300 multi-unit restaurant and hotel companies, CHART represents a workforce of almost three million. CHART includes all facets of hospitality training, learning, and performance professionals; from entry level to senior executive. CHART’s mission is to develop hospitality training professionals to improve performance through access to networks, education, and resources.
ABOUT FLATBREAD COMPANY
Flatbread Company, founded in Amesbury MA in 1998 has hearths in four New England states, Hawaii, as well as an international presence in Whistler, British Columbia with their sister brand “Creekbread.” Flatbread Company rolled into the locally sourced scene far prior to it becoming a trend; introducing people to the magic of earth and fire, and how that combination can produce incredible tasting pizza. Since our very first wood-burning hand-built clay-oven fire, our mission of providing both guests and team members a place to “renew their spirit” has never wavered. The story of Flatbread Company is a story of the people that work here and the guests that support us.
Time and again our team members go above and beyond in sharing our Wood Fired Love! With a pandemic raging for over ten months they have continued to do so with kindness and smiles in the face of daily adversity. This is just one of many reasons that we want to make sure that they realize not only how much we are grateful for them but also that we are truly proud of each and every one of them! Simply put – our team ROCKS!
Flatbread Company Amesbury Announces Take-Out Only.
Out of an abundance of caution, Flatbread Company in Amesbury will temporarily return to offering take-only service, as of Friday, October 16th as a preventive measure due to staff members not being able to report to work.. One of our team members received a positive Covid-19 test result Saturday evening, October 17th, after contact with a confirmed case in the community. In light of this, as well as the surge of new Covid-19 cases in our community and the northeast region, our Amesbury restaurant will be closed for two days with plans to resume take-out only service Tuesday, October 20.
According to General Manager Shannon Hamilton, “the team member who tested positive called out of work this past Thursday not feeling well. This individual last worked three days prior on Monday after our daily Team Wellness Check, which we complete before entering the restaurant, and only waited on one table who happened to be a fellow team member.” In adherence to CDC and state guidelines, the Wellness Check includes the recording of each individual’s temperature, which is also confirmed by management. Additionally, the survey also prohibits any individual from working if they have had close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 positive case.
“Our team has been extremely diligent in wearing their masks as well as socially distancing as much as possible since we opened back up this past April,” Hamilton said. “Our guests that have been dining with us these past months have seen that we are taking this seriously as they are not even allowed into our dining spaces if they are not wearing their masks. I want to reassure everyone we are staying vigilant as well as thank them for the outpouring of support that has been shown when we moved to take-out only this past Friday.”
Restaurant management is assisting team members to get tested as well as the close contacts who interacted with the positive case thereby exceeding guideline standards. “Our team members have been continuously communicating with us about the status of their health,” said Regional Manager Lauren Grindrod. “Because of this, as soon as we had back-to-back days with team members not reporting to work, we were able to be more proactive and immediately decreased our operations to take-out only as well as shrink our staff while making the request to all those that had close contact with the individuals in the past 48 hours to immediately start to self-quarantine.”
Only those team members who did not have close contact with the positive Covid-19 individual and who continue to display no symptoms of illness will be allowed to return to work on Tuesday. Additionally, the restaurant was thoroughly cleaned overnight on Friday, per Covid-19 cleaning protocols.
“Amesbury is where it all started for us,” said Flatbread Company founder Jay Gould. “We are grateful that the community has always been there for us, and we want to make sure that we are doing all we can to keep our team members, guests and community at large as healthy as possible through quick action and transparency.”
Flatbread Company has alerted local DHHS officials and intends to cooperate fully with the state DHHS by providing all necessary team member and guest contact information needed to perform tracking and tracing if deemed necessary. The restaurant closed in compliance with state guidelines that mandate a 24-hour closure following a positive test result and will remain closed on Monday to allow time for additional test results to be received before deciding if it will go forward with Tuesday’s reopening plan.
October 8th, 2020
Flatbread Company Portsmouth Announces Abundance of Caution Closing
Portsmouth, NH – With the well-being of our team members, guests, as well as community in mind, we have decided to close until further notice. Within in the past 24 hours we have been notified that one of our team members tested positive for Covid-19 after interaction with a confirmed case outside of our work environment. The team member, who had limited interaction with guests, last worked Sunday morning and did not display symptoms until later in the week.
“We want to assure the Portsmouth community that we have been taking this pandemic with the utmost seriousness…” states general manager Katie Biggs. “All team members complete a daily wellness check prior to entering the building before their shift which includes the recording of their temperature as well as verification by the manger on duty; if a team member is experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 or even has the mildest of elevated temperatures they are sent home without entering the restaurant.” added Biggs. After being notified of the situation, we made the quick decision to not only close out of an abundance of caution but also assist all of our team members to get tested in addition to those that came in direct contact with the positive case which exceeds CDC and state guidelines. In the meantime all Flatbread Company Portsmouth team members are self-quarantining.
Founded in 1998, by Jay Gould, the first Flatbread Company opened in Amesbury, MA. Today the company has eight other locations including Portland, ME; Portsmouth and North Conway, NH; Somerville and Bedford, MA; Providence, RI; Maui, HI as well as Whistler, B.C. Flatbread Company’s founding principles rely on quality and integrity of ingredients that allows them to serve clean food without unwanted chemicals while supporting organic and local farming. Additionally, the company is “mission based” with the desire to get involved in community through local non-profit and neighborhood partnerships. “Benefit Bakes” are featured at each location every Tuesday night to provide assistance to those organizations. For more information visit Flatbreadcompany.com or become a fan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FlatbreadPortsmouth.
Black Lives Matter
Flatbread Company has always tried to stay out of the fray of politics, to be a place where all can come to renew their spirit. Over this past week, like you we’ve watched in shock, in horror while yet another innocent life, George Floyd’s, was tragically cut short…a son, brother, father and boyfriend stolen from the ones who love him. A fellow citizen treated as if life didn’t matter.
We’ve searched our souls, heard from our team members and questioned our core value and principals. Due to this reflection we feel that in this moment the only wrong thing to do is to stand on the sidelines in silence. We can’t remain silent. This is not about politics, it is about defending and standing up for humanity worldwide and the inalienable rights granted to us by the Constitution of the United States of America. It is our moral imperative, our responsibility, to use our collective voice to stand with those who have drawn a line in the sand stating enough is enough. If not now, when?
Now is the time to stand and be counted. Now is the time to simply and loudly state…We stand with the Black community. We stand with our team members, guests and friends who are treated differently due to the color of their skin. We stand against hate, racism, violence, white supremacy and systemic injustice. We stand with the people exercising their First Amendment rights protesting those injustices while denouncing those who are trying to turn peaceful demonstrations into an opportunity to further divide our country. We stand for equality, liberty and justice for all. Stand with us; together in unity with peace and love in our hearts for each other.
Keep Each Other Well,
Jason M. Lyon President & COO
Sometime in June, 2016. My partner attempts to convince me to move to Somerville after I graduate college. He takes me to Flatbread and says “look, Boston *does* have good food!”. (It was very convincing. I agreed.)
January – July, 2017. Flatbread becomes our primary restaurant of choice. We go there every weekend. We meet people there who will become our very good friends.
August 2017 – August 2018. We move south of Boston to save on rent. Turns out we love Flatbread so much that we literally drive 45 minutes once a week to visit the Somerville location. Worth it every time.
October 12, 2018. I’ve started graduate school. My beautiful partner proposes to me. Where do we go to celebrate? FLATBREAD. Somerville. Of course.
November, 2018. My final reviews. I need a title for my project. Stressed, I look at your menu, and at our favorite pizza. Hmm, Punctuated Equilibrium….I do a bit of googling and find that not only does the term in biology perfectly suit my project, but THE COLORS I used in my final prints even LOOK LIKE THE PIZZA. I start screaming with joy and later reference Flatbread in my project credits.
Present day. I’m so busy that I literally don’t have time to sleep or vacuum. Spring break arrives. Where do we go…admittedly three times in a row…? FLATBREAD.
This is all to say that I/we love your pizza so very, very much. And if I was involved in running a restaurant as delicious as Flatbread, I would want to know when customers fall in love with (and next to) my food. So – thank you. You have literally been the culinary highlight of my last few years.
Alana & Alex
A New Hampshire-based pizzeria that boasts a menu of mostly organic and locally sourced fare is headed to Lowest Greenville for its first Texas location.
Flatbread Company operates a handful of locations from Connecticut to Maine, as well as in Canada and Hawaii. It will debut locally at 1720 Greenville Avenue from two brothers and a partner in the Hawaiian franchise. The building that will house Flatbread Co is owned by the brothers’ family and will get a complete revamp before the eatery moves in, featuring two clay wood-fired ovens and seating for 150 diners with an outdoor patio.
A menu of wood-fired pizzas and salads are headed to Dallas with both meaty and vegan varieties alongside a handful of sauce-less pies. Diners will find pizzas made with organic wheat and veggies and hormone-free meats like uncured pepperoni, maple fennel sausage, pulled pork, or roasted free-range chicken.
The “Greenville Community Flatbread” is a special addition geared for the DFW dining crowd, featuring onions, mushrooms, whole milk mozzarella, and parmesan cheese with homemade garlic oil and blend of herbs on top. Salads include a base of organic greens topped with Maine sea kelp that can be customized with diners’ choice of veggies, cheese, and meat. Ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and floats will be on offer for dessert.
“We were blown away by the pizza each time we had it [in Maui], and my kids don’t want to eat anything else when we visit,” said David Leake, one of the brothers behind the local franchise. “[With the] all-natural, locally sourced fresh ingredients, we felt good about giving in to them each time they chanted for pizza.”
Flatbread Company will make its local debut at the end of May or beginning of June. Stay tuned for its official opening date.
Article and Images via Dallas Eater