Farmer Boys Holds Its Annual Employee “Zucchini Bowl”


Based on the Farmer Boys Mission statement “to continually exceed their guest’s expectations and achieve a 100% satisfaction through superiority and excellence in product, service, and ambiance”, the management staff held their third annual Zucchini Bowl competition on November 3rd. It was designed to help continue to educate and validate the company’s fundamentals among franchisees, management and all employees company-wide.

This internal event worked as a stimulus to promote internal marketing and awareness by testing knowledge of existing processes and procedures and enhancing camaraderie and self-empowerment. The Zucchini Bowl was opened to all restaurant managers and staff. Management encouraged each restaurant owner to have a manager and 3 other employees participate in the event.

The jeopardy-style games were designed to entertain, and at the same time, build company moral and increase productivity among peers. According to Camille Chavez, Farmer Boys Director of Training, the questions and answers that were used, tested employee’s knowledge of current specifications as well as emphasized the importance of being a member of the Farmer Boys company. Chavez said that “We work hard to make sure everyone in our organization learns and knows what it takes to create food and service precisely and consistently with the company’s core values.”

The finalists of the Zucchini Bowl were selected through an advancing system going from regional winners to semi finalists and then onto the final round. A total of 24 locations of the company’s entire organization of 67 restaurants throughout California and Nevada participated.

The Event was sponsored by the Pepsi Company which provided all the players with prizes and awarded the winning team the grand prize of $2,000.00. With such a prize to win, the competition was fierce and everyone came prepared. According to Chavez, she said that “Never before have our training manuals and procedures have been studied and scrutinized with such fervor.”

In the end, the Farmer Boys team from the Jurupa location walked away with the top prize of $2000.00, making them Champions in both 2007 and 2009. One of the company’s founders, Harry Havadjias was more than proud to present Lily Lopez, the Jurupa Restaurant Manager and her team, as winners and praised them for their continued dedication and hard work.

Having such an event, despite a year of tough economic upheaval and unpredictable outcomes, showed that companies are continuing to operate and change with the times and what better time than now to bond together and retrain employees for the future. “The success of any business must start with internal marketing and commitment to all employees to form solidarity, and buy in so they can perform and succeed” according Havadjias. “Keeping loyal customers and developing new ones are vital, which makes product, service and the company brand key, along with effective communication and understanding at all levels, so we can deliver and live up to the expectations of our customers and communities” Havadjias added. “Such an event produced great training and feedback that will improve the company’s overall operations and strength as we continue to grow” according to Ken Clark, the CEO at Farmer Boys. He was thankful to all of the Zucchini Bowl’s participants and more than pleased with the outcome. His acknowledgement and the information gathered from this event is genuine proof of success.

Farmer Boys dedication and ability to build from this resource could be of significance in future decision making strategies. Farmer Boys Restaurant, a fast casual dining chain headquartered in Riverside, is known for their farm fresh foods with home-style taste and big food portions. The company has a reputation as an exceptional employer because like customers, employees enjoy coming to work daily. For information about Farmer Boys Restaurants, please visit their website at