Betty Hanlon-Deever: Serving hospitality

Betty has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover.

At a Glance

  • 940 employeesat Pfizer
  • $850,000 annual sales volume
  • 260 meals served per day (excluding catering)
  • 9 foodservice employees


Betty Hanlon-Deever has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by:

  • Maintaining a high standard of customer service that has defined the program and keeps guests on campus
  • Implementing client-requested health initiatives, including locally sourced produce, farmers’ markets and a juicing station
  • Supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover

Employee relations

With virtually zero employee turnover of her nine-person staff during her tenure, Hanlon-Deever is a proven successful manager. “I believe that the reason I don’t have turnover is because I treat my crew as family. I know all about them. I’m tough on them but fair. I listen to them as much as I communicate,” she says.

In addition to supporting her employees, Hanlon-Deever has implemented reward, promotion, team-building and employee recognition programs. For example, for one week in April, the staff will play the Egg Game, where a plastic golden egg containing at least a $50 prize is hidden among a basket of plastic eggs containing T-shirts, candy or movie tickets. Each day before service, the employee who correctly answers a work-related question selects an egg. “They look forward to this week of answering questions and winning prizes,” Hanlon-Deever explains.

“She’s really kind of more of a mother figure to these folks,” Hasham says. “She’s really protective of her staff. She takes care of them, of course, [but] she demands the best out of them. The staff is very happy as well. They will go above and beyond. She puts them on a growth development plan and provides them with opportunities, whether it’s here or at another account. She looks out for her people. That’s not easy to do as a manager. It really comes from within.”

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