Putting People First

The Client

Famous Five Dining employs over 300 people in five different Famous Dave’s restaurants in Tennessee—three locations in Nashville, one in Chattanooga, and one in Knoxville. Five core values make up the company’s name: faith, family, friends, and famous food, and they operate the business through what they call the “FD Rule”: Treat others BETTER than they expect to be treated. The company began in 2001 with its Hermitage location in Nashville, and quickly expanded into the other four locations soon after. Famous Five Dining is owned by two couples, Doug and Laurel Renegar and Mike and Tamara Lister, whose lifelong friendship grew into a business partnership more than 16 years ago.

The Opportunity

Famous Five Dining found LBMC Employment Partners in 2005, after having a negative experience with previous payroll providers who did not offer the coaching and expertise they needed as a new business. Famous Five Dining CEO Tamara Lister said, “LBMC EP took us by the hand, examined our needs, and counseled us about the appropriate next steps we needed to take as a company.” LBMC EP started by offering payroll services to Famous Five Dining, and soon after, the began assisting with HR needs that included employee handbooks, I-9 audits, and making sure the company was compliant with new and existing laws. “As we encountered any issue, we could call LBMC EP, and they were always ready to assist,” Tamara added.

The Solution

When asked about the working relationship between Famous Five Dining and LBMC EP, Tamara Lister described it as a partnership, as she said, “We didn’t just hire a company to help us, we hired a partner with LBMC EP.” Famous Five Dining left LBMC EP in 2015 after being lured by a national payroll provider who assured Famous Five Dining that they could offer more and better services than LBMC EP was providing. However, after only 6 months, Famous Five returned to LBMC EP after they learned that they could not duplicate the personal, local, one-on-one connection they received from working with them for so many years, and they have no plans to leave again. Tamara added, “In the restaurant business, we’re not just selling food; we’re taking care of people. LBMC EP offered us genuine care, and they take good care of our people.”

When asked what advice they might offer to other companies considering the enlistment of a payroll or HR provider, Famous Five Dining assures complete confidence in the services of LBMC EP. Tamara Lister affirmed, “LBMC EP is not about selling a service; they are about assessing your needs and finding the best solutions that work for you and your business.”