The Coup

HR Superstar

Location Calgary Owner Dalia Kohen
Employees 30 Founded 2004

★ The Business

There are a lot of restaurants in Calgary, but none quite like The Coup. Dalia Kohen’s vegetarian restaurant is more than a place to get a meal, after all. It’s a place to share in the company of like-minded people and enjoy food that reflects that worldview. It’s also a great place to work, which is why it has a turnover rate that would be the envy of its peers. “We have turnover,” Kohen says, “but most of the people that leave end up coming back. People will go to school or go travelling for a couple of months. Most of the solid ones have returned many times over.” Some, she says, have even met their future husbands and wives at The Coup. “Too many kids,” she says, trying to recall how many have been the product of relationships that started at the restaurant. “Too many weddings.”

★ The Case

There are plenty of good reasons to work in a restaurant, be it the money, the flexibility or the opportunity to meet new people. But good benefits? At many restaurants, the most a person can hope for is a clean apron and a decent meal. Not at The Coup, though. In addition to staff parties that are the stuff of legend and birthday gifts that actually speak to a person’s interests or needs (not the standard cake-and-a-card, in other words), The Coup actually has a program that matches the RRSP contributions its employees make. The amount is modest, and depends on how long an employee has been with the restaurant, but it still stands out in an industry where the idea of saving for retirement is often the last thing on an employee’s mind. “We’re trying to encourage people to save,” Dahlia
Kohen says. “I think it’s a better option than just handing people cash and having them party it away.”

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