How did you start Paramount Events?
I have been in catering and events my whole life and have worked for a lot of people at many different companies. It became time to go off on my own, so I launched Paramount Events in 2011 and Chef Devon Quinn joined a year later.
What was your previous background in the industry before founding the company?
Right out of college I worked at Lettuce Entertain You, and then became a trainer within the restaurant group scene. After that, I headed to Newport Beach, California to work at the Four Seasons. Once I had experienced the hotel industry, I returned to Chicago and worked for Aramark for ten years in the corporate business sector and as the President of Blue Plate for seven years before becoming a private consultant. Due to my passion for the industry, I founded Paramount Events shortly after.
What gap did you see in the catering industry that Paramount Events has since filled?
The food and the service. There’s a huge need for both to coexist. Most catering companies outsource their staff and don’t properly train for outside venues, events, or menus. They don’t focus on development or making the staff stronger and better, so I thought there was a large opportunity to stand out. Other companies mostly just provide simple catering cuisine as well, whereas ours is of a quality you would find in a fine dining space because it is literally produced in one.
What other aspects of Paramount Events makes the company stand out from the rest?
The delivery service. From the timeliness and quality of the product to the efficiency and professionalism of the staff, we always meet and exceed expectations.
What is Paramount Events’ purpose beyond the products we’re selling?
It’s the experience. The experience is really the most important thing because it’s not just about taking a bite of good food and walking out the door with a full stomach. It’s about how it was served, the presentation, and it’s preparation as guests walk in the building. It’s all the small details that most people don’t see or even know exist until it’s your personal event. When you’re the client, whether it’s a corporate meeting or a wedding, you see what you’re paying for and what your guests are enjoying. While they may not witness everything behind the scenes, they know when they’ve had a good meal and an impressive experience. People always remember how you made them feel.
How does Paramount get involved with the community?
Our parent company, The Paramount Group, has partnered each of our brands with different non-profits across Chicago that we believe closely align with our own goals and values. With organizations such as the Hephzibah Children’s Association and their mission to provide service programs for low-income families, to the Step Up Women’s Network that gives the opportunity for young girls to succeed professionally, Paramount promotes each cause through annual community events and fundraisers.
One of the largest philanthropic events Paramount hosts is Tickled Pink, an annual gala to raise funds for breast and ovarian cancer through a partnership with the Bright Pink Breast Cancer Organization. Through other organizations such as Best Buddies, the Epilepsy Foundation, and Growing Home, our company is dedicated to giving back to the city and communities that have fostered our growth and believed in Paramount since the beginning.
Where do you see the company going in the future?
Straight to the top! Though I already regard Paramount Events as Chicago’s premier catering and food service company, the future of the company will be to strengthen our numerous brands and allow further collaboration between them in order to bring the best possible product to our clients and their guests. As always, our continued goal will be to wow every customer and show them how passionate and dedicated our team is to providing the best cuisine and event services throughout Chicago.