A Word from Chad ~ October 2015

“Whidbey Approach. Cherokee N5165S declaring an emergency. I’m losing my engine.”

These were the last words I thought I would say when I picked up my son and neighborhood friend from Camp Orkila on Orcas Island last month. It was a sunny day and we were well into our flight over Whidbey Island when it happened: a sound out-of-whack, a realization that the engine wasn’t running right, and then a spray of oil on the right windshield. There’s nothing like having my son, his friend and his friend’s dad as my passengers, to help me focus on flying the airplane to a safe landing (I have to give a shout out to Barry who was “Cool Hand Dad” through this whole experience!).

You can read the full story here, but in the end, we were able to land safely on the Coupeville Naval Station airstrip. I have been flying for 14 years now, with nearly 500 hours under my belt, and I have to credit the initial pilot training, biannual reviews with flight instructors, and the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) for creating an environment of learning, anticipation, and staying calm while under extreme stress.

Now more than ever I realize how important safety is, and to never take for granted that my passengers rely on me for their safe arrival. My family loves the line from 22 Jump Street: “You know what’s cool? Safety’s cool!”

It also struck me that this is exactly how we train and develop our people in the restaurants: to be prepared and knowledgeable in how to handle the unanticipated, to be extremely sensitive to food allergies, and even to save lives by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

At all of our restaurants, we take our guest’s safety seriously. We handle flaming swords and sharp knives, prepare and cook food safely, and perform our tableside flambés. We do it with showmanship but also with the care you would expect from a professional. In fact, that’s one of the reasons people work for us: our team is filled with professionals who have fun, but are serious about life and how they practice their craft.

We look forward to celebrating life with you and your family – safely, of course!

Until Next Time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO


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