Tasty Catering is proud to rank #7 on Crain’s Chicago Best Places to Work list. When Tom Walter started a company in 1984 with brothers Larry and Kevin, business was hot. Dogs, that is. While running three hot dog stands in the northwest suburbs, the brothers noticed customers’ requests for munchies at corporate picnics and other events. Tasty Catering was born in 1987 and has grown to serve a base of roughly 4,000 corporate clients. Many of the administrative staffers have worked for the company since they were teens, and almost all have been hired on the recommendation of other employees.
The office shuts down every day at lunchtime so staffers can eat a prepared meal together, and management has helped fund five successful side businesses based solely on the entrepreneurial ideas of employees. In fact, the collegiality is so high that rather than allow five colleagues to be laid off last year, staffers agreed to chop an equivalent number of hours from their own schedules. “If you have a solid culture, that’s how things flow,” says Mr. Walter, president and CEO. “The idea is to focus on their souls and their needs, not give them perks.”
Tasty Catering has also been named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois (2008, 2009), Wall Street Journal Top Small Workplace Finalist (2008, 2009) as well as a 101 Best & Brightest Place to Work (2009).