Jennifer Bennett Piallat
Since her first job in her stepmother’s restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989, Jennifer has worked every position in the restaurant industry from dishwasher to pastry chef to general manager, learning in that time the value of treating employees with the respect and appreciation that is often lacking in the industry. After five years as general manager, Jennifer purchased Zazie Restaurant in 2005, promptly implementing a full benefits program to offer her staff the retirement benefits and health insurance that is so uncommon in the restaurant industry. In conjunction with substantial wage increases, a bonus program, and a policy of openness and encouragement with her staff, Jennifer has grown the sales and profits of Zazie 300% while developing an intimate and stable employee base that hardly resembles the transitory, unhappy, and embittered workers the industry is know to foster. Jennifer is proud to offer this extraordinary example of “the golden rule” to restaurateurs who think they cannot run a successful business while treating their workers with respect and appreciation.
Jennifer Piallat was awarded “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year- San Francisco” in 2010 by the Women’s Initiative and is proud to be recognized by the Young Worker’s United “Dining With Justice” award, for which she received a letter of commendation from California Majority Whip Fiona Ma. In 2010, Jennifer filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting “Healthy San Francisco” against a suit filed by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera credited the amicus brief as instrumental in the Courts refusal to hear the GGRA’s petition. Jennifer has also been an active proponent of San Francisco’s Paid Sick Leave program.