Congratulations to 2015 Small Business Nominee Lone Star Texas Grill. The Small Business Award recognizes a company under 50 employees, that develops and applies the concept of ability first and best practices in recruitment, retention, and talent management.
The annual Ability First Coalition Champion Awards celebrate and honour businesses, companies, individuals and organizations that have hired and retained people with disabilities in London, Ontario and surrounding area.
Nominee: Lone Star Texas Grill
Representative: Brad “Big Rig” Adams
Can you tell us a little about your business?
Lone Star Texas Grill specializes in Fajitas, Steaks, Ribs, Mexican dishes and Genuine Hospitality for all our guests and staff.
How long have you been in business?
Coming up on 3 years in London. Company founded in 1986.
Did you have any prior experience working with people with disabilities?
Yes. “Wise Owl” Program in Ottawa.
How did this experience help shape your outlook?
Taught me to respect, care and better understand the difficulties of finding meaningful work in our society.
What were your initial feelings on hiring someone with a disability?
Fantastic! Very excited.
Why did you decide to hire someone with a disability?
It adds to the work experience for our staff and our guests.
How did you go about finding the right person(s) for the job?
Hutton House and I were contacts from the Chamber of Commerce.
Can you describe one of the positions filled?
T-Dog! He has been working with us almost a year and does a multitude of things. Helps set up the restaurant, greet guests, seat guests, general cleaning and maintenance and other odd jobs. He usually sees them and asks to help before I do!
How has this employee worked out for you?
Great. He is a ray of light everyday.
Were there any preconceptions you had about employing someone with a disability?
No. Knew it would be positive.
What are some of the most common misconceptions you hear other employers talk about when they hear you’ve hired people with disabilities?
Don’t hear any.
What is your advice for other employers?
Give it a try.
Please finish this sentence, “I hire for Ability First because…”
I don’t hire for ability first. I hire for personality, spirit and the best possible candidate.
What does being nominated for the Champion Awards mean to your business?
It’s nice to be recognized, but not necessary. It’s about the people.