The Main Course: The Power of Restaurant Narrative in Staffing

Not every restaurant makes an effort to fully integrate its customer into the experience of eating and enjoying their food. But for those looking for a unique dining experience, plenty of such establishments present unique restaurant narratives. What sort of restaurants emphasize storytelling in their dining, and how do they handle staffing?

On this episode of The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia talks with Sam Hart, Chef, and Owner of Counter in Charlotte, North Carolina. Born and raised in the city, Hart has seen it grow exponentially. After a career in advertising, he wanted to bring a unique dining experience to his community involving a restaurant narrative. “For the past ten years, ever since I was 21, I’ve had an absolute love and borderline obsession with cooking,” says Hart. “I was cooking for a couple of friends and clients of mine, and I kind of just had this idea, almost like an epiphany, right in the middle of my dinner, where I was like, it’d be really cool if a restaurant decided to pair music with food and not just wine. And so thankfully, from day one of my culinary careers, I knew exactly what the end goal was, and that was to create the restaurant which is Counter today.”

This episode covers additional topics such as:

  1. Advertising a new restaurant in intelligent and unique ways.
  2. Working with and giving back to your community.
  3. Using the restaurant to help employees reach their unique goals.

While Counter presents a unique dining experience in the restaurant narrative, Hart wants to ensure the restaurant contributes to his community via charities and helping out his employees. “What we wanna do here is to create a place that not only is a successful work environment, but it’s also a place where each of our employees feels that they are healthy,” says Hart. “Their creativity is being showcased, that it’s a place that they can grow and develop, and reach their next goal.”

Sam Hart started his professional career in advertising before beginning Counter in early 2020. He worked for various companies, including Sprint and the Union County NC Chamber of Commerce. His skills in advertising and love of cooking have come together in a unique fashion that has helped make Counter the success it is today.

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