Employee Series #1

19 Sep

2848_84224751606_53798181606_2215312_7683048_nI thought it would be nice to have you meet some of our long-standing employees of the Bavarian Inn Corporation.  We will start with those employees with 30 or more years of service.  As the main author of this blog, being that I am under the age of 30, this is outstanding that we have employees that have been with us for more than 30 years.  In today’s changing society, this becoming less and less heard of.  These are the wonderful people that have kept the Bavarian Inn functioning with the same quality and German atmosphere since 1950.  For a brief history of the Bavarian Inn, please read more here Bavarian Inn History.

Our first employee is Judy Crawford from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.  Judy has a very important job, making sure the Bavarian Inn Restaurant office team is trained well, functioning outstandingly and correctly and making sure all the computers, printers, copiers and servers are running perfectly to get the job done.  I have special connection with Judy, she was my first manager when I worked at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant for 8.5 years and have had the lovely pleasure of working with her.

Here is her story:

Judy Crawford
Bavarian Inn Restaurant
MIS Director/ Office Manager
42 years of experience

I began working at Bavarian Inn Restaurant on July 15, 1967 as a Frankenmuth High School co-op student.  I would go to school in the morning, and start work at 1:00pm.  I worked 20 hours a week and I believe the wage was $1.30/hour.  When June came around time for graduation I was asked if I wanted to stay, and since I am still here you know what my answer was.

My duties on co-op included taking reservations, answering phone calls, cleaning menus and then whatever jobs my office manager found for me.  My direct boss was Tom Fechter, and my office manager was Eleanor Gugel.  The entire team I worked with at Bavarian Inn was wonderful, everyone was helpful and I learned a lot from my office experience.

I have learned many lessons during my employment.  One was how to properly address an envelope. Back in the early days of the June Bavarian Festival, our tickets would go on sale on February 1st, and when the mail arrived that day we had stacks and stacks of requests, of course, everyone wanted Friday and Saturday night.  Why, because the pitchers of beer during festival week went down like cool fresh water!

Eleanor would open the mail, book the event and it was my job to count out the tickets, record table number, number of guests and names on each ticket.  We could seat 400 in the main dining room, so you can believe my hand was hurting by close of day, as usually we booked the entire week in that 1st days worth of mail.  We separated the stubs from the tickets, and mail the tickets to the guest.  I was in charge of typing up the envelopes, which I did.  However; about the 100th envelope Eleanor noticed that I did not have a Mr or Mrs on the envelope, so I had to retype the envelopes the correct way, and now to this day I address everything with a Mr. or Mrs.

Another lesson learned was how to properly set a table.  Many days we were asked to help clear tables in the dining room when those unexpected bus groups would appear.  I remember being extremely busy and as I was setting up a table, Marie Fechter, the dining room manager, told me the serrated edge of the knife always points toward the plate.  I’m thinking, who cares, but guess what, to this day my serrated knife edge is always pointing toward the plate.

I began writing payroll for our team of over 700 at the time, when I jokingly asked Tom Fechter if he could write his numbers a little clearer so I could add the sheets up better when he took over while Eleanor was on vacation.  He showed me how to write payroll, adding up timecards, figuring taxes and processing paychecks, and from then on I was in charge of processing payroll.  I think Eleanor was kind of pleased to be able to have more time to close the books.  Judy Keller would say she never knew anyone that could write payroll, answer calls, take a reservation and type up the reservation sheets all at once.

In 1981, we divided the office and accounting duties, and I moved into the accounting end of the business.  My new manager was Crystal, we purchased a big hunker of a computer to process our payroll.  My fingers were so relieved!  Crystal and I went to Flint, Michigan to learn how to take care of all the accounting business with that big mainframe computer.  We switched out software and computer in 1986, and our training was in Beaverton, Oregon.  I went on my very first airplane trip and half way to Oregon I was ready to jump out of the window, I was so tired of flying.  I don’t think I am cut out to be a flyer, but I might have to learn since I now have family in Arizona, and that’s a 30-hour drive.

In 1996, Karen Zehnder and I were heading to a seminar and she said Bavarian Inn wanted to get computerized in all their retail shops and upgrade their dining room registers.  Karen asked me to head up this project, I then began my current position as MIS Director.  Thanks to Bavarian Inn I now have an Associates Degree in Computer Science.

I can honestly say I still enjoy getting up each day and look forward to work, every day brings a new challenge.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, I’m proud to be part of the Bavarian Inn family.

Thank you Judy Crawford for all of your wonderful years of service at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant for the past 42 years.


5 Responses to “Employee Series #1”

  1. Marilyn September 20, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Hello Judy,Management and Staff, Congraduation on a well done job.
    The success of any company is its employee’s, but in turn the success of the employee’s is the postive results of the company! So high 5.
    Yearly for the last 15 years I visit Frankenmuth, some time, its only for lunchen (on my way to Canada) or its several days for a special event.

    I would like to share with you one such event and how one of your very special employee’s made it even more speical!! After many years of being single, I married this wonderful man, he had never been east of the rockies, so on our cross county road trip I insisted on staying several days at your Inn.
    We had a wonderful time, everyone was pleasant and down to earth,yet professional. My husband loved to chat with everyone and your employee’s made his day. We spent time at several restaurants were again, he chatted with the hostess and the waitness. One very special (over 30 years) waitness took that extra few minutes to kid around with my husband. He loved it, he loved every minute of our visit both in Frankenmuth and the Bavarian Inn.He insisted on lots of pictures of us here and there of our great visit to your Inn and Frankenmuth in general.
    Some three’s weeks later, he died of heart attack at the age of 58.
    The next year I traveled to Frankenmuth and stayed at your Inn in the same room that we shared. That was 6 years ago when we shared laughter with your staff and others thought out Frandenmuth. Thank You for allowing your staff to be friendly, cheerfull yet, professionally. Thank all of you for making wonderful memories.
    I have degree in Hospitality Management, With 30 years+in guest relations, one important aspect of any Hospitality or Customer related business is developing great guest relationships and allowing your staff to be the best they can be, yet, being down to earth. And that has to come from the top down, allowing each staff member to be the best they can be and as a company giving them the tools they need and the desire to stay with you for ever.
    Congraduation on developing excellent balance.

  2. Victoira September 21, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    You have a great story, Judy. The attitude that you bring to your work is exceptional. We can all learn from it!

  3. Tnelson October 1, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    Hey, great blog…but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂

  4. JimmyBean October 1, 2009 at 6:11 am #

    I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  5. RobD October 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work! 🙂

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