KANSAS CITY, Mo.--()--Dineplex International, LLC (Dineplex), a Kansas City based business and developer of STANDEES — The Entertaining Eatery, announces today that Erik Hess will be the general manager of the first location of STANDEES — an adult-oriented, upscale-casual restaurant serving affordable, chef-infused American classics, that combines dining and entertainment in a digitally enhanced, optimally integrated facility — in The Village Shopping Center in Prairie Village, Kan.
“At STANDEES, we take care of our associates, recognizing that they serve our guests. Therefore we place a premium on finding individuals that thrive at delivering great service in a fast-paced, full-service restaurant with a high-energy bar and state-of-the-art movie theatre. Erik certainly fits the bill.”
“I’m pleased to add Erik’s extensive restaurant management and detailed product experience to the team,” said Frank Rash, president and CEO, Dineplex. “At STANDEES, we take care of our associates, recognizing that they serve our guests. Therefore we place a premium on finding individuals that thrive at delivering great service in a fast-paced, full-service restaurant with a high-energy bar and state-of-the-art movie theatre. Erik certainly fits the bill.”
In addition to ensuring exemplary guest service across the restaurant and theatre, Hess will also be responsible for operations, promotions and overall facility management. Hess is currently recruiting two culinary and operations managers to round out the unit-level management team in Prairie Village. Then Hess will turn his attention to hiring approximately 50 servers, bartenders, cooks, hosts and theatre staff, which could swell as high as 75 full- and part-time associates during peak seasons.
This local job creation parallels a trend in the national restaurant industry, which added jobs at double the rate of the overall economy in 2012, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Restaurants added jobs at a rate of 3.4 percent last year, the strongest increase in 17 years, according to the NRA. The NRA also projects the national restaurant industry to grow 3.8 percent to $660.5 billion in 2013, with restaurants in Kansas slated to collectively grow 3.2 percent and Missouri 3.0 percent.
Similar to the restaurant industry, the entertainment industry grew in 2012, with movie theatres selling an estimated 1.365 billion tickets for an all-time record total of $10.84 billion at the box office, according to Box Office Analyst®, the leading source of analytical information in the movie industry.
“The restaurant industry is enjoying a renaissance and STANDEES is a perfect example of it,” said Hess. “Nearly 550 million consumers combine a dinner and a movie experience, generating an estimated $12 billion in revenue. STANDEES will fill a market void with an entirely new interpretation of a popular out-of-home dining and entertainment option. These are the reasons why I wanted to be part of this team, which boasts more than a century of collective experience in the dining and entertainment industries.”
Previously, Hess served as a marketing executive for Sysco® Corp., selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants and other entities. Hess was also a general manager for several restaurants owned by PB&J Restaurants, Inc., developers of YaYas, Newport Grill and Burnt End BBQ, and the Fox and Hound Restaurant Group. Hess began his restaurant management career locally with the Haddad Restaurant Group. He is a graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and Shawnee Mission West High School. Hess lives in Overland Park, Kan. with his wife Kara and their three children.
Part of Hess’ duties as general manager will be hosting a series of pre-opening events in May that will train and test the STANDEES team as well as launch the company’s corporate citizenship initiatives. STANDEES will establish an overarching philanthropic mission of supporting children through national and local, unit-level customized participation in community relations programs that benefit children.
With the goal of helping children across the age spectrum of birth through high school, STANDEES will donate its time and resources on a national level to Variety – The Children’s Charity of the United States (24 chapters in 16 states) and will empower local units to customize their support of children by assisting children-focused charities in their neighborhoods.
“One of our guiding principles at STANDEES is philanthropy, specifically that we will do well to do good,” said Rash. “Through our actions and contributions, we will improve the lives of children, especially where we’re opening our first unit in Kansas City, the place STANDEES calls home.”
The roots of STANDEES’ corporate citizenship connect back to Stan Durwood, who revolutionized the movie theatre industry and whose name – “Stan D.” – is woven into STANDEES. Throughout his career in the movie business, Durwood supported Variety, a charitable organization that started with a baby left on the doorsteps of a movie theater in 1928, and continues today by helping children with special needs. As part of this national philanthropic initiative, STANDEES in Prairie Village will kick off its partnership with Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City by hosting a pre-opening event with the charity.
Furthermore, Durwood and his sister Marjorie Durwood Grant were steadfast supporters of the DeLaSalle Education Center, a tuition-free charter high school in Kansas City for students between the ages of 14- and 20-years-old who need an alternative to a traditional school. As such, STANDEES will proudly begin supporting DeLaSalle on Saturday, May 18 by hosting a benefactors’ reception for the 10th Annual Marjorie Durwood Grant Speaker Series benefiting DeLaSalle, featuring speaker Shane Evans, a local artist, author, musician, and founder of Dream Studio, a community art space in Kansas City.
In addition to assisting children with special needs and high school students who need an alternative school, STANDEES will also support young children by collaborating with Operation Breakthrough, an early education child care and social services facility serving more than 400 children each weekday from Kansas City’s urban core. The center’s mission is to help children living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment. A grand opening event at STANDEES will benefit Operation Breakthrough.
About STANDEES — The Entertaining Eatery
STANDEES — The Entertaining Eatery is an adult-oriented, upscale-casual restaurant that combines dining and entertainment in a digitally enhanced, optimally integrated facility. Serving lunch and dinner, the affordable, chef-infused, American classic-style menu is made from the highest quality fresh ingredients. STANDEES theatres provide a comfortably intimate environment for watching feature films that appeal to mature audiences. The café-style concession stand that serves the theatres includes traditional movie snacks, as well as drinks from the bar and select appetizers and desserts from the restaurant that can easily be enjoyed at your seat. For more information about STANDEES, please visit www.standeeseatery.com.