In today’s world, the drivers of workplace satisfaction are fairly consistent across the board, with company culture, advancement opportunities, and workplace environment at the top of the list. The same holds true for business dining. As a strategic partner, we serve as an extension of our clients, and strive to align our mission and values with those of our partners to bring a connected food and beverage experience to life, enabling a collaborative and connected culture. The strong relationships we have built with Goldman Sachs and the local community has helped to foster a company culture that is inclusive, innovative, and engaging.
Each and every dining experience in any of our locations is more than feeding hungry guests. As Vice President of Operations Peter Zilper describes, “There is always a tactical need to feed people, but we want the offering to be something that adds to the overall experience of our guests and keeps them engaged.” The dining experience can be as much of an employee retention strategy as it is a representation of the company we partner with. “If you think about competing for talent, the better the food offering and amenities, the more that becomes a part of the dialogue,” notes Zilper.
Building Strong Relationships
Developing and implementing an engaging, innovative dining experience is no small task. It takes “a constant stream of ideas, proactive innovation, and ongoing communication and alignment,” says Zilper. For Goldman Sachs, that means hosting regular business reviews to align our vision of the dining experience and assess whether we are delivering on that shared vision. Brian Galbally, Resident District Manager, explains, “What we often say is, ‘here are a number of ideas that have come from our insights that we think will best impact the guest experience.’ Then we ask, ‘What's important to you? Are we aligning with your vision?’” He uses the analogy of a marriage to describe client relationships, “Through the years, we become one entity. We enter our relationship with our own set of values and qualities, and we work together to emerge as one where we provide a unified, single vision to every guest.”
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In addition to reflecting the company culture, we’ve found threading the local culture into the dining experience is another way to add value for guests and help them feel more connected to their community. “We work collaboratively with Goldman Sachs to bring in local and small businesses that connect the heart of New York City to the Goldman Sachs dining experience,” says Galbally. “This way, when our guests are walking into our space, they feel connected to their city in a way that's unique.” We look to bring in partners that are not only exciting for the guests, but also align with Goldman Sach’s mission and values. Zilper explains, “We want to create these dynamic, exciting spaces, but we also want to lead with connecting to the incredibly important pillars of sustainability and inclusion that are a part of the Goldman Sachs values.”
Local options not only offer consumers a taste of home, but also give them a way to connect with their community by helping small businesses get their start. At Goldman Sachs, employees can dine with local businesses like Brooklyn Cupcake or Salsa Express, both alumni of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Program. “The partnership with companies through 10,000 Small Businesses is a prime example of how we continue to keep things fresh and exciting for our guests,” says Galbally. "These partnerships help us connect what we do, what we source, and how we align to Goldman’s commitments,” he says. It’s all about building the right partnerships that add value to Goldman’s mission.
Bringing in small businesses feeds continual innovation, meets consumer’s desires to support local businesses, and connects the company to the community they operate in, all while providing a greater variety of options. At a location as big as Goldman Sachs, these businesses can see 800 people come through for lunch alone. They have the opportunity to reach more customers and promote their business. “It's a symbiotic relationship, where we are working seamlessly with Goldman Sachs and other partners that add value to all the guests in the building,” notes Galbally. Guests can get excited about seeing their favorite local spot show up in the café for lunch, and the results of these partnerships have far-reaching benefits to the businesses, the families who run them, and the communities they serve.
In the end, delivering a well-thought-out guest experience is a continual work in progress, Zilper explains. “It starts with a foundation of insights, thought leadership, and values that are then modeled into a unified approach with our partners to ultimately drive impact and best-in-class experiences.” With every one of our partnerships, we’ve found that through working together we can continually be innovative, be relevant to our guests, and meet our partners’ objectives.