Southern Indiana restaurant earns national award for staff
A small town restaurant is getting some national recognition, but not for its food. Its hard-working staff is doing its part to give back to their community.
NEW WASHINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) -- A small town restaurant is getting some national recognition, but not for its food. Its hard-working staff is doing its part to give back to their community.
If you blink, you might miss the tiny town. "It's a drive. It's 20 miles from Jeff [Jeffersonville], it's out in the middle of nowhere. A lot of people never heard of New Washington," says Logan Hostettler, General Manager at 1894 Lodge.
The restaurant near the corner of Main and Center Streets is getting quite the buzz.
"(An) obstacle has been, 'where are you'. Well, we're up 62, take a right at the blinking light and two blocks down on the left," Hostettler said. That's where you'll run into The 1894 Lodge. "It's a place where literally everybody knows your name," he said.
The local watering hole is known for its local ingredients and old history. Before it became a restaurant three years ago, it started as a masonic lodge, then was a school and then a movie theater.
"We're just trying to keep going for the town and for the community," Hostettler said.
This spot is getting a boost to help put the humble home of the Mustangs on the map. "I've got literally the world's best staff, the greatest staff of all time," Hostettler said.
Colleague and customer Chris Shipaila noticed and nominated the restaurant for what's called the Toasty Award. Three-thousand restaurants competed coast-to-coast in three categories: Masters of Technology, Greatest Of All Time Staff and Most Selfie-able Decor.
"I at first was like, 'man, I don't think we're going to win. They're everywhere.' Then, it kind of went back to my old coaching style. Alright, you're going to win because you work harder than anybody else," Hostettler said.
1894 Lodge was one of about 30 restaurants that made it into the Greatest Of All Time Staff category. A picture of an employee being honored by his fellow staff members with a crown and all helped hit it home.
"That really, actually got national recognition. So, most restaurants don't engage their employees like that and that's really awesome," said Shipaila, Territory Sales Manager of Toast, a national company that provides a management and point of sale system to restaurants.
The 1894 Lodge staff ended up winning. 1894 Lodge won $1,500 to donate to the 'No Kid Hungry' campaign along with advertising and national recognition.
"It was really cool to see that a small town with 600 and some odd 700 people, competing with restaurants in Nashville, Chicago, nationwide. We actually won. It was a really cool feat," Hostettler said.
1894 Lodge is open Thursday 11-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday 11-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. and Saturday 5-11 p.m.
It's located at 409 East Main Street in New Washington, Indiana.
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