Summerwood Leads By Example: A Conversation About Career Development

Essential, as a noun, is defined as, “a thing that is absolutely necessary.” This explains why Summerwood has invested in essential training courses to support employees on their path to career development. There are currently two levels offered for training courses: Career Conversations and Leadership Essentials. We recently spoke to Summerwood’s Director of People Development, April, about these opportunities. 

 “Summerwood is definitely about making sure that the people that work for them are trained for their position.” – April, Director of People Development 

Summerwood works to provide its people with the best resources and support infrastructure in the restaurant business. Career Conversations is the first stop on the path to career development. April says that “anyone that is at the shift level or Associate Restaurant General Manager (ARM) can attend the Career Conversations and ultimately, learn the information that they need in order to become a Restaurant General Manager (RGM). 

Currently, Career Conversations are held once a quarter, so, roughly, four times a year. To participate in the Career Conversations program, you must be 18 years or older and be a Shift Lead or ARM. From there, Summerwood develops you into the ARM or RGM role accordingly.


Raise Your Hand If You Want To Grow Your Career!

Once meeting the initial requirements, to be identified as a potential participant in the training program, April says, “all a person needs to do is raise their hand and show interest.” An employee will tell their RGM and their RGM will speak with their area coach and determine if that person is ready for Career Conversations. 

April can confirm, “Career Conversations is a fun filled day. Described as an open house designed to make RGMs feel comfortable in their new role, participants learn the perks of the job and hear testimonials from other RGMs. Over the course of a few hours, people can mingle with Summerwood’s middle and senior level management team along with all of our region coaches and area coaches for that region. Career Conversations take place in three different locations: Conshohocken office, Maryland office, and the West Virginia/Pittsburgh area. These sites are split up regionally, so that anyone interested in moving up has the opportunity to do so. 

A Conversation About Leadership

Once you receive a “green interview” at Career Conversations, you are automatically entered into phase two of the career journey, which is the Leadership Essentials classes. Leadership Essentials classes are three days, in person, in one location. All of the candidates come to Summerwood’s central office to build trust and foster camaraderie by interacting with likeminded people who are looking to become an RGM.

Leadership Essentials builds leadership knowledge. Summerwood will pass on tools to put in your toolbox to help guarantee successful. Several different facilitators come in throughout the three days to speak about:

  • Soft skills
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Food safety and pest management
  • Facilities audits 
  • Preventative maintenance 

All this training is intended to set team members up for success in their new RGM role. Summerwood invests in our teams with a focus on internal promotion in order to encourage career longevity.

“A well trained team delivers to our guests, and happy guests makes us happy.” – April, Director of People Development 

April reiterates, Summerwood offers great opportunities for you to grow your career, so take the opportunity and move forward.” Listen to April! Summerwood is a family-operated company committed to restaurant operating excellence and providing opportunities to passionate people. If this sounds like a place you’d like to be, join us!