This post was written by Social Tables’ Business Development Associate, Jeff Hornstein.
At Social Tables, we strive to deliver the highest quality products to customers that we truly feel are a part of our family. We have true to the heart core values, which we embody on a daily basis through our work.
What does not get talked about, however, are the opportunities that we provide for our employees, and more importantly, the opportunities that we try to create for those that are less fortunate than us.
I started here in June as the 35th employee, and in 7 months time, have seen our company grow to a family of over 65. It is hard to describe the feeling of being a part of such an incredibly hard working and driven organization. However, as I mentioned above, what really makes this company special, is the plethora of opportunities that we create outside our (bulging) office walls.
In September, I was given the unique chance to co-lead a new initiative at Social Tables. Today, we refer to it as our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Team, which since September, has grown from 2 to 6 people.
In this season of giving, I’d like to reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past 4 months, and shed some light onto what we have in store for 2015.
What Social Tables’ CSR Committee Is:
As a hospitality company, we focus our CSR efforts on 3 areas of service that align with our industry:
It is widely known that these are 3 of the most pressing and constant issues facing the city of D.C. right now. Our main goal is to become a pillar for the community in the hospitality industry, and we feel that by focusing on these 3 areas, we will have the most impact on the city we call home.
Where We’ve Been
- On September 27th, 24 Tablers (what we call our team members) volunteered at the Washington Humane Societies’ “Pet – A – Palooza” event. 2 tablers were even lucky enough to don the prestigious “Wags Costume”.
- Starting in October, and running through the middle of December, we ran a clothing drive to support one of the best organizations in the city, Martha’s Table.
- For the month of November, we turned to a fan favorite, and a group of brave young men participated in “No-Shave-November” to raise money for Men’s health
- On December 8th, 3 Tablers participated in the “Hour of Code” event at BASIS Middle School, teaching computer science to students
- In the month of December, 22 Tablers volunteered at the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), doing some serious meal preparation
- 150 hours volunteered
- 300 pounds of clothing, worth an estimated $4,000 donated
- $450 raised for Men’s Health, through 10 mustaches
- 6,000 meals prepared
While we truly enjoyed each and every event and initiative, it was clear that the team got the most enjoyment and fulfillment out of working with DC Central Kitchen. The feedback I heard from my colleagues was unprecedented, and included things such as, “It was such a great experience and SO much fun” and, “I can’t wait to go back.”
You don’t often hear such rave reviews about a volunteer event. So what made DC Central Kitchen so great? In my opinion, it was three main things:
- First, the staff. Lead by Chef Will, their staff made sure we were engaged and active the entire time. The work we were doing was fun, mainly because of their attitude and approach to work.
- Second, the scale of what we accomplished. In 3 hours of work, our group helped DCCK prepare 6,000 meals. 6,000!!!!!
- Third, the constant appreciation. They gave us heaps of praise after we were finished, thanked us countless time, and truly made us feel like we made an impact. I was even told that I cut the best celery they’ve ever seen (yeah right).
Where We’re Going:
The reason I went into so much detail about DC Central Kitchen, is because we are going to use our experience there as the foundation for how we approach events in 2015.
With a larger team, we will be able to grow the size and impact of our events, but sticking to our core values is what is most important.
Here is what we have in store for the upcoming year:
- At Social Tables, we believe that “Teams Are Families.” With that, we want to include not just employees, but also significant others and our beloved customers as well. When you join Social Tables as a customer, you become a family member, and we want to share all of our experiences with every member of our family.
- We will aim to plan 1 event/initiative per month, spanning each of our 3 pillars of service.
- We want to give back to those amazing organizations that use our software, literally and figuratively.
- We want to impact the DC community not just in the short term, but in the long term as well, through recurring events and investments in the future of our city.
- We want to take a more active approach in raising funds for the organizations that we feel the most passionate about, and getting involved in our customers’ organizations.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with a quote from our Founder and CEO Dan Berger: “At Social Tables, we are committed to creating a world where people come together to achieve great things.” I look forward to sharing our CSR initiatives with you over the coming year.