The Paramount Group is proud to announce that all of our staff are fully vaccinated! 

 

The past year and a half has been a difficult journey for everyone. During this time, we realized that not everyone or every company has the same path – or even the same destination. Getting to where we are now wasn’t easy and may not be something a company or individual may be ready for, but the path was our own, and we are immensely proud of where it has led us. 

 

Here’s an overview of what went into our initiative:

  • No bullying or coercing employees was a part of our strategy
  • Implementing the mandate on all departments 
  • Making sure language barriers were accommodated 
  • Empathizing with employees on a personal level 

 

Being in the hospitality industry, we are always driven by our mission of putting the health and safety of our partners, guests, and employees above all else. We persevered as a team through difficult times, and it became more evident than ever that we are not only a team, but a family. This family is the core reason we are who we are as a company.

 

To protect our family, we followed the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will continue to do so because we believe those are the actions that will keep us as safe as possible and allow us to keep providing amazing service and unparalleled cuisine across our brands. Our measures included mandating the use of masks for anyone entering our building or working events, testing our team on a weekly basis, educating and providing resources for recommended sanitation procedures, and ultimately mandating that all team members be vaccinated against Covid-19.

 

We knew that making such a mandate was a risk, with price increases and staff retention already challenging our industry more than ever. But it was a calculated risk that we needed to take to ensure not only the health and safety of our family but also maintain the trust of our guests during this time. 

 

It was one challenge to make the decision to declare a mandate, and we knew that implementing it would be a different challenge – one we’d have to approach with patience and understanding. The Paramount Group had an all-company meeting where founder and CEO, Jodi Fyfe, announced the news of the mandate. Jodi acknowledged the hard work everyone put in to get us here, communicated our position on the vaccine and the benefits for the group, and discussed the landscape of future mandates being implemented in the city. She also addressed how misinformation existed that may be driving people’s decisions for not being vaccinated.

 

After the initial meeting, each department manager spoke with their teams and addressed any concerns or questions on an individual basis. The Paramount Group was given 2 months to accomplish the goal, allowing anyone unvaccinated enough time to get both shots.

 

In all aspects of business, we believe that an initiative can only be successful when team members are given the tools they need to accomplish their goals. When implementing the vaccine mandate, we took the same approach. These are some of the ways The Paramount Group worked to give its team the highest chance for success in this endeavor:

 

  • Status updates were provided on what the company was working on, safety updates we needed to be aware of, and we shared personal insights and observations
  • Resources were posted throughout the building with vaccine center locations or links to find appointments
  • Managers checked for availability and made appointments for staff wanting to get vaccinated, and drove those who didn’t have access to transportation
  • Educational pieces were also posted addressing why people should get vaccinated
  • Managers and team members shared personal stories of how COVID-19 affected their lives

 

The most impactful element in connecting with someone is treating them with compassion and empathy. We shared our vulnerabilities and took the time to listen and talk to anyone hesitant about getting a vaccine. While much of our staff was already vaccinated, there were some that were not, and were not interested in getting the vaccine. Ultimately some decided that getting vaccinated was not something they were willing to do. At no time did we bully or try to coerce anyone to do something they were not open to. Our path was guided by compassion and thinking of the future of our company and our TPG family. We are saddened that due to these choices not everyone in the TPG family will be moving with us to our new location and continuing on our journey together, but our doors will always be open for anyone who changes their mind.

 

Jodi announcing raffle winner
$1,000 Raffle Winner

To celebrate this milestone and give thanks back to our team for the extra effort they put in the past year, we threw an employee appreciation celebration, complete with music, food trucks, gift cards, gift bags, and a $1,000 raffle. We also continued our tradition of setting up a clinic for on-site flu shots to keep our team healthy through the season to come.

 

We have great pride in being able to accomplish this, and we are hopeful that by sharing our approach and the steps we took to get here, we will give other companies inspiration to take this step and achieve the same success.

CELEBRATE LOCAL FLAVORS


INFO@TPGCHI.COM | 773.880.8044

 

Our new location along the riverfront in Avondale

Reframing absenteeism

 

Absenteeism refers to employees habitually missing part or all of their shifts, typically due to external factors. While absenteeism does directly affect a company’s bottom line, by viewing it only from the side of the business owner one can miss the true causal factors and treat the symptoms rather than the illness. Absenteeism should be viewed not as a monolithic problem with one solution, but as a signal that there are obstacles that employees need help overcoming. 

Employees miss work for a variety of reasons, from transportation and childcare needs to mental and physical health issues. A one-size-fits-all policy for sick time may not be enough to adequately address the needs of a workforce. By thinking proactively and holistically about employee wellness, companies and their employees can be better prepared to tackle obstacles together. 

 

Physical wellness is perhaps the more obvious example. By offering healthcare benefits, healthy meal opportunities, and education and activations such as office yoga, companies can encourage their employees to take care of their bodies and subsequently reduce absenteeism in the long term. But mental health is equally important, and should not be overlooked. The benefits of mindfulness and meditation are profound and have a lower barrier to entry than perhaps other forms of mental health treatment like talk therapy. By taking the time and effort to address employee mental health, companies can help reduce the stigmas associated with seeking treatment. 

 

TPG is proud to offer such benefits to all employees, as well as providing employees with a hearty balanced lunch to better fuel their workdays. Our new location will feature a meditation room, where employees can take a moment to decompress and refocus. We have always felt that keeping a connection to nature is restorative, and with our on-site greenhouse we are able to continue to celebrate local flavors and stay grounded.

 

We are always looking for ways to improve and advance and keep an open line of communication with our employees to learn how we can help them live their healthiest lives, both in and out of the office or kitchen.

 

Each company will have to find its own solutions based on the specific needs of its employees. But by providing employees with the tools they need to thrive, companies and their employees can both benefit.

CELEBRATE LOCAL FLAVORS


INFO@TPGCHI.COM | 773.880.8044

 

September was one for the books! We catered weddings, cocktail parties, and events. Our outdoor events were a perfect way to spend the last days of summer. 

Paramount Events shared a new Fall Special Drop Off menu including brunch and dinner perfect for any celebration, small party, and more.

Chef David Koehn created a delicious cozy warm potato salad with Feast and Field, perfect for the summer to fall transition.

Fuelgood was launched earlier this month as well. It offers an innovative approach to providing food, beverage, service, and design solutions for companies and property managers.

 

September ended with Chicago Gourmet, a weekend to come together at Harris Theater with an amazing crowd! We look forward to the crisp fall air that October will bring! Book us for your next event, the holidays are approaching! 

 

 

CELEBRATE LOCAL FLAVORS


INFO@TPGCHI.COM | 773.880.8044

 

Our on-site greenhouse is our pride and joy.

 

Carefully created by our very own Chief Culinary director Chef Devon Quinn, we sat down to learn about its evolution from planters to a 12×30 foot structure, the inspiration behind creating it, and the benefits of growing ingredients in our own backyard. 

Where did your idea to have a greenhouse come from? 

 

“It really came to be because I wanted to be able to have really good products year round. Produce can be really expensive to purchase and things aren’t always available so I’ve always had an interest in growing. My mom has a fantastic garden as well as my grandfather did and I have had some background working in greenhouses and such in college as I was studying biology. I think it would be amazing if every food institution in the city of Chicago had some form of growth program of their own.”

What was your vision initially for the greenhouse? 

 

“The vision is an experiment really. It’s an ongoing thing so as we evolve and as trends and other things change in food culture we certainly follow suit and try to start those trends. It’s an experiment in thinking about food. As we experiment, some things work and grow really well and others don’t. It’s a constant learning experience to what actually ends up making it onto the table.”

 

“We made some errors and I learnt a lot over the past four-years so I’ve got better and better at winterizing it so we can run it more efficiently. We have got really good production levels out of it now and things grow well in those colder months so we kind of plant accordingly so that we always have stuff growing.”

 

How did you create the greenhouse into what it is currently?

 

“My first step was to build planters, and from there I wanted to extend the seasons so I created a basic greenhouse over them by covering them with a thin plastic. When we moved to our second location, I wanted to make it so that I was not just extending the seasons but growing year-round. I drew up the designs myself and then built it with the help of my dad – he is a surgeon by trade but also a licensed contractor! I grew up building things with him.”

 

“We made some errors and I learnt a lot over the past four-years so I’ve got better and better at winterizing it so we can run it more efficiently. We have got really good production levels out of it now and things grow well in those colder months so we kind of plant accordingly so that we always have stuff growing.”

Why is it important to you to have a greenhouse that is on-site?

 

It’s important for a number of reasons…the biggest thing is knowing where the things that we put onto someone’s plate come from. We are using organic soils and fertilizing organically so we really have a lot of control over what the consumer is getting in the end. 

 

I also really value being able to grow things that aren’t readily available from your purveyors so you have things on your plate that other restaurants and caterers do not. You also have the advantage of putting things onto a plate that are very robust in flavor because they have never been refrigerated.”

 

Why does refrigeration impact a plant’s flavor? 

 

“A big part of when you eat is the involvement of your other senses such as smell. Some of those aromatic notes start to deteriorate when you refrigerate them and put them on an air freight across the country or whatever. So when we grow arugula here in the greenhouse, for example, it’s super spicy because it has never spent time in a refrigerated box where it’s losing its quality.”

Follow along to stay updated with our greenhouse!

 

CELEBRATE LOCAL FLAVORS


INFO@TPGCHI.COM | 773.880.8044