Author: Denis Adams, BSU student
I was lucky enough to sit down with one of the faces of downtown Plymouth recently, Jordan Chabot, originally from Fall River and a partial owner of The Speedwell Tavern. For Jordan, he didn’t really choose this line of work—it chose him. When Jordan was 15, he worked his first restaurant, or service industry, job. It was 2001; he was a bus boy. He continued to work his way up, becoming a manager when he was just 17. He hasn’t looked back—Chabot has been in a leadership or management role in a restaurant ever since. He’d experienced enough success running other people’s businesses he decided it was time for him to be his own boss, and run his own business. For Chabot, the main drive behind wanting to open Speedwell was freedom, independence, and using both of those with his creative mind: Jordan didn’t want to answer to anyone, he wanted to be his own boss and let his ideas flourish. He knew the industry has good money, but even better people which is why he has never left.
The Speedwell Tavern opened more than 6 years ago, in November of 2013. Back then, Jordan had no idea what lay ahead. When they first opened, it was “tough to earn the trust of the town”, says Chabot. He had brought in former employees from outside the local area and took on this huge amount of debt, leaving him unsure where to go. Being the smart businessman that he is, Chabot acknowledged he needed to build connections. Although networking takes precious time away from being at work, it also opens doors and opportunities you wouldn’t believe. Jordan joined a BNI (Business Network International) group, essentially a group of local business owners who get together and talk about different ways they can help each other and connect. As his face became more and more recognizable, more and more people started to come in to Speedwell.
The overall laid-back environment and culture of Speedwell is what keeps bringing people back. A huge part of this is their staff—they do their jobs to the best of their ability, but more importantly they want everyone to feel welcomed. At Speedwell, their main focuses are the people and their product. Having good product comes from having a good staff, which continues to get harder and harder. As a group, the owners decided they do not want to pay anyone minimum wage—and have stuck to it—but with the minimum wage increasing, this could become more difficult, leading to cost increases and other expenses, all of which factors into employee pay.
Here is a good example: not only do they display the burger, but also the beer in the background with their logo on it. Social media marketing and networking are the biggest ways that they attract customers at The Speedwell. Analytical tools, such as targeted marketing, are also used. It allow them to get a much better understanding of what people are into right now, essentially helping you to understand trends, what people want to spend their money on. Although things have been looking very good, Jordan hopes to increase their numbers during lunches. He put more staff on during the day to increase and improve service. At night they are maxed out with what they can do. They have a full staff, often having good successful nights. A little over a year ago, Jordan became a father and has been balancing parenthood with work. As his son gets older, he hopes to be around more at night to see how everything is running and reassure the staff that he is there if they need him for anything. Running a successful business while raising a family is not an easy task, but if anyone has the skills to do it, it’s Jordan Chabot.