By Jenni Wayman, 24-year employee
I joined Jonathan Byrd’s two weeks before it opened. I’ve never wanted to work anywhere else since then. Right from the start, I knew if I worked hard, I’d be appreciated and given opportunities for growth. I started as a cashier. From there, I worked the cafeteria line and the carryout at Jonathan Byrd’s Express. After gaining all that experience, it wasn’t long until I became a supervisor and started developing the schedule for the entire front of the “house.”
Today, I am dining room manager, responsible for the hiring, scheduling and day-to-day management of 60 employees. The job involves lots of paperwork, which really suits me well.
I’ve stayed all these years because it’s like being with my family. Several years ago, I had to take a few months off for medical treatment. My manager talked to Mr. Byrd about how to handle my situation. He said, “Give her the time off. She’s family and we take care of family.”
He really cared about all his employees and so does Mrs. Byrd. In fact, I call her “Mama Byrd” because she looks after all of us and all her customers. She remembers birthdays, anniversaries and is just generally thinking of others. Her generosity extends to those in need, too. On a weekly basis, we donate food to Second Helpings, which distributes to homeless shelters and other non-profit agencies on a daily basis.
That focus on others—and Mrs. Byrd’s desire to serve the Lord—is what’s allowed us to be around so long. We begin all manager meetings with prayer. We know that we wouldn’t be here without the Lord. I guess that’s our secret ingredient—giving Him all the credit for bringing in new business every day.
I love this place and I am so thankful for the care and opportunities the Byrds have given me over the years. God has carried Jonathan Byrd’s this far. I’m certain He will take us another 25!