by Darien Davies
If you’ve visited any of the restaurants under the Little Moir’s culinary umbrella, there’s a great chance that you noticed the family-like feeling that gets dished out as often as the amazing meals. There’s an even greater chance that you noticed your favorite hostess, server, chef and food runner has always been around since you first started bellying-up to your preferred table many years ago. No, it’s not the restaurant twilight zone, it’s just how things are done at Little Moir’s.
“I guess a lot of [our culture] stems from my childhood. My parents taught us humility and equality and that being different is good and uniqueness is always welcome,” said Michael Moir, owner of Little Moir’s. “I think my partner Drew Shimkus, who I’ve worked with even before Food Shack, had some of the same experiences as a child and we seemed to click with that idealism since the start. I believe that this philosophy spilled over to a lot of our original crew who also felt the same! So that’s probably where it all began taking shape. It was never actually planned though, things just fell into place I guess. From what our staff tells us is that when they came on board they feel that our culture is something different, it’s new and its different than other places.”
The Little Moirs group of restaurants, which now include Leftovers, Food Shack, Maxi’s Lineup and the newly-opened Hisibcus StrEATery, has been family owned and operated since first establishing in 2002. The team specializes in providing quality freshness and value of experience, and they thrive on service, creativity, music, fun vibes and being unique.
“We guess we are different than others because we have created an authentic feel. We have a sign that says ‘enter as strangers leave as friends,’ so that kind of sets the tone for us,” Moir said. “We would like to feel that our over all service from front of house to back of house is aimed at making our guests feel that they are part of us. We also feel that we have a very good product for such a casual atmosphere.”
But even with the culture, serving the freshest fish in town, and offering their team members with growth opportunities, Moir knows that the community has helped him and his team succeed.
“The keys to our success has to start first of all with our guests and our community support. We would be nothing without this amazing community we live and thrive in,” said Moir, who notes that almost all of his team members returned to work at his restaurants when the coronavirus restrictions were lifted. “During the pandemic this rings especially true, because our community supported us so much during the last one-and-a-half years and we feel very blessed by it.”
So while most restaurant owners couldn’t get the support they needed to run their restaurants post-pandemic, Moir didn’t have to deal with that problem, period. That’s just what family does. They show up when you need them.
“We are not totally sure why exactly why our employees stick around, but we would like to think that it’s mainly our culture that our staff seems to enjoy. We have also expanded over the years creating new opportunities and new positions for a lot of employees, especially our core employees. We are proud of our product we produce and the brand we have created and we feel they are, too. We also have nice benefits, too, including a 401k, a great health plan, and being closed on Sundays and holidays,” said Moir. “We really try to make our staff feel part of it all and not just a number. We try to invest in our staff and we want them all to be themselves. We feel you get the best out of people by allowing people to feel comfortable and free, and able to speak and share ideas. We encourage their own individuality. So you can say that we care about our crew, as well as our customers, and together that makes us feel like one big family. Lastly we like to have fun. It’s really important and necessary, especially under the stresses of this industry and especially lately, we’ve all had to support each other.”
Now that’s a family everyone would want to be a part of.