What's it like working for a growing company like Hickory Tavern? What went into your decision to join Hickory Tavern's management team?
I was recruited by one of the opening managers as the restaurant was getting ready for service at Carriage Crossing in Collierville. When I went for my interview, I was really impressed with the restaurant concept and thought it would be a great adventure to join the Hickory Tavern Team. It’s been so rewarding to be a part of this restaurant family. We have a fun service team and have brought two new managers on board within the past few months to make our location even better!
When did this location open and how has it evolved or adapted since the business launch?
I’ve been with Hickory Tavern since August 2015 in the manager training program and helped open the Collierville restaurant on November 11, 2015. I’m really excited about where we’re at now with this restaurant. We celebrated one year of being in business in Collierville last month, and we’ve grown so much as a team! The Hickory Tavern Founder and CEO Brad Smith met with our Collierville team recently, and it was very inspiring! It’s a growing company, and everyone works hard to bring the best experience to our customers.
How is your business unique? What kind of experience can customers enjoy by doing business with you and your team?
Our purpose is to create YOUR craveable experience. We want to have your favorite menu items, show your favorite teams on the big screen and mix your favorite drinks at the bar. Take a look at the “Command Center” - we have 64 TV screens! When you come here to enjoy a meal, YOUR game is on. We have awesome regular customers now, and that’s what this is all about. I’ve been in the restaurant business for just over 25 years and helping our staff understand what customer service is really all about is my best reward. This team has come a long way and I want to earn more customers who truly love how they feel when they visit our restaurant.
Why is Collierville a great place for your business?
Collierville is such a great family town. This is a perfect spot for Hickory Tavern because we can offer so much variety in one stop. The Carriage Crossing stores provide a big selection of shopping experiences, and we enjoy being a warm place to stop and refuel after shopping, a place to come relax and watch the big game, or the place to enjoy a night out with friends. I’ve served families, sports teams, book clubs, business luncheons and everyone you can think of! Our menu has an excellent variety, and we even have “food truck” menu item specials now.
What are your favorite things about Collierville?
Collierville is incredibly family friendly and feels quaint and comforting. My family and I live just south of town and we’ve enjoyed shopping and fun activities here for many years, especially when my daughters were little. The Town Square is really special for kids of all ages! I love that Carriage Crossing also provides year round activities for families. They have everything from Summer Movie Nights to special events for pet lovers … there’s a lot to choose from. It brings everyone together and I enjoy visiting with guests when they stop by!
Tell us about your story - Family, interests and hobbies.
My husband Blaine and I have been married for 25 years and we have two beautiful young adult daughters. Our oldest daughter, Shelby now lives in Rogers, AR and works for Stein Mart. Our youngest, Hayley, who goes by the nickname "Bugg" is currently a junior at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS.
I’ve been in the food and beverage industry since I was 15 years old. My first job was being a hostess at Spike and Rail (a little restaurant by the railroad tracks) in Bartlett, TN. My husband is a bi-vocational pastor and also works full time in the heating and air trade. I'm addicted to Pinterest, where I can search for new craft ideas. I enjoy creating things on my own and making gifts or decorating with beautiful DIY ideas. I feel at home when I’m cooking for my loved ones and my kitchen is my “happy place.” There’s nothing like sharing a good meal with family and friends!
Is there a nonprofit organization or group that holds a special place in your heart?
There are so many good ones, it’s hard to pick my favorite! One place that holds special memories for me is the Memphis Union Mission. My family and I have served in their soup kitchen many times throughout the years. It’s always been such a blessing to help fund the meals that go out of that kitchen too. One year, we also put together Homeless Hygiene Kits to help hand out to struggling people living on the streets. It is so important to always give of yourself to help others who are less fortunate. All it takes is a couple of unexpected disasters in life and any of us could be homeless. I never want to take anything I have been given for granted. Maybe that is why I love the hospitality industry so much. It's really just about people … loving on people.
Additional thoughts or parting words for our readers?
I want you to have a great experience at Hickory Tavern! We now have live music every Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Happy Hour from 4:30-6:30 p.m. daily. The Lightning Lunch Menu is served Monday through Friday until 2 pm. It’s a fresh, fast, tasty option if you’re grabbing a quick meal. Families love our Kids Menu and there are plenty of pub favorites, vegetarian features and a Build Your Own (BYO) Salad option. We want everyone to find their favorites with us!
For your special events and parties, check out our Catering Photo Gallery and menus. Let us help you plan your menu at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by for lunch or dinner if you haven’t visited with us before (or give us another try if it’s been a while!)
Hickory Tavern Collierville
4600 Merchants Park Circle
In the Shops at Carriage Crossing
Collierville, TN 38017
Email: Lena Davis - Manager, inbox@HT24.TheHickoryTavern.com