A Word from Chad ~ March 2016

March is one of my favorite months – not only is it when both my boys and I celebrate our birthdays, but it also means spring is here with its promise of renewal and longer, sunny days!  To top it off, it’s also Washington Wine month. Be sure to join us to kick off Taste Washington  at the Red and White Party at AQUA on March 31st and visit our oyster-shucking team in our booth at CenturyLink Field Event Center on April 2nd & 3rd. If you’re more into distilled spirits, join us at El Gaucho Tacoma for the Balvenie Scotch dinner March 23rd.

Nearly 20 years ago, my dad and chef Ken Sharp brought El Gaucho back to Seattle with the vision of building a successful business that would take great care of both the guests and their team. We are now a company of 400 hospitality professionals, and we are proud to set a high standard for employee compensation in the vibrant Northwest restaurant industry.  It is a hallmark of our company to respect and reward our employees with excellent pay, benefits and career path.

El Gaucho is built on the belief that legendary service is provided by a team – not just one person.  It is shown in every detail of the El Gaucho experience.

As part of the changing business environment in Seattle, we are implementing a service charge in our Seattle-based restaurants.  On March 21st, a 20% service charge will be added to à la carte dining at El Gaucho Seattle and AQUA by El Gaucho.  Additional gratuities will be accepted, but are not expected.  Valet parking will now be complimentary (including our famous cookies!), and we are adding another van to our service shuttle fleet.

We have successfully used a service charge model with our private dining business for 20 years. We know it works for our guests, our team and our company.  As always, our entire team is dedicated to and rewarded by delighting our guests.  If for some reason the experience does not exceed our guest’s expectations, we will make it right.  It’s what we have always done and our team works together to deliver on that promise.

Finally, I want to share a story about someone in our El Gaucho team who truly is a living example of the values we celebrate: family, hard work and hospitality. We wish the very best to our beloved entertainer, Juan Perez.

Until Next Time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO


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