Morton’s Restaurant Group Annual Report (Award Winner)



1998 Annual Report, “A Legendary, Enduring Appeal”

(1999 Nicholson Award from the National Association of Investors Corporation)

My Role:
Starting with the “Legends” theme from the client’s advertising campaign, I worked with the client to define the focus of the three editorial spreads. Everything—from interior headlines to photo captions to the captions to the chairman’s letter—reinforced the message that Morton’s is a legend in fine dining.

Legendary Service Around the World.

“There is a familiar rhythm at Morton’s of Chicago,” according a February 1999 review in The Toronto Sun. “The beat is good old-fashioned Yankee know-how, and nobody does it better. An American icon like Tony Bennett or Tiffany’s, it’s as friendly as small-town U.S.A. and as sophisticated as the Big Apple.”

That “familiar rhythm” doesn’t come from our steaks or our decor. The key to our legendary “friendly” and “sophisticated” ambiance lies in the men and women who are the faces and voices of every Morton’s around the world—our hard-working employees.

A career at Morton’s—for everyone from dishwashers to managers—starts with our demanding training program.. A new server—even someone with experience at another company’s restaurant—will undergo weeks of intensive training before being allowed to work alone at a Morton’s table.

Our training manual, updated regularly, outlines the proper procedures for everything from how to greet a guest to how to pour hollandaise sauce. Hosts must be knowledgeable about the menu, so they can answer any questions a guest might have before being seated. Servers should know as much about the menu as chefs—and should, in fact, be able to prepare certain dishes if called upon to do so. Every six months, every employee is recertified, tested again on these details.

Morton’s of Chicago expects more out of its employees than most restaurants. In return, Morton’s Restaurant Group offers benefits and opportunities not available at most restaurants.

Because of our extraordinarily low turnover (nearly half the rate of the industry as a whole), we are able to offer our employees benefits like health insurance, a 401K program and a profit-sharing plan. Our geographic breadth allows employees to stay with Morton’s even if they move across the country, and our training program offers employees the opportunity to advance within the company. (Chris Rowberry, the General Manager of our downtown Dallas restaurant, started out in 1993 as a server at our St. Louis Morton’s.)

The result?

“The service, “as The Oregonian wrote in its January ’99 review of our new Portland Morton’s, “is consistently dazzling.”