NOBLESVILLE — Customers at a Noblesville Culver's location order Butterburgers, ask about the flavor of the day for their famous custard, and they also ask about one employee's age.
Gerry Ann Overley is the oldest employee here, working to clean tables and bring customers their meals with a smile.
"They are always asking me, 'how old are you? Are you still working?'" says Gerry. "I don't mind. Customers ask me a lot. Yes, I'm 78 years old. I'll be 79 in April."
The retiree has spent time as a nurse, worked in the food industry, and even run her own business.
Gerry didn't have plans to return to work, and she wasn't seeking out a job, the job found her.
"I've always said if I'm going to work anywhere, it would be at Culver's because I love their custard," says Gerry. "One day, I saw the flavor, and I thought, oh, I really like that one. So I went in to get it, and there was a sign on the door. They were taking applications, and I went it ... must be a sign! So I applied."
Franchisee Jeff Meyer says Gerry is not only their oldest employee but one of their best employees.
"It's just so unique how she treats the guests," says Jeff. "She's just that warm feeling that you get when you are around her. And she shows up every day."
Jeff says the team at Culver's thrives on the use of their multi-generational workforce. With the unemployment rate so low, it can make the search for workers in the food hospitality industries even more difficult.
Thanks to their wide variety of ages and backgrounds, Culver's can play on the strengths of their team members.
"You hire good people to bring out the good in other people," says Jeff.
He also says part of his personal mission is to treat people like family, and those employees will want to work for you and do their best.
Gerry has skills she can teach her younger coworkers, and they have a thing or two to teach her.
"The young kids are great to me. They call me Abuela," says Gerry. "And I love it. I don't mind being their grandma at all."
She says the kids have taught her how to work a cell phone and do other things in technology.
"And they just give me their young ideas," says Gerry, who helps to teach them eye contact and hospitality.
Culver's has a mentor program where team members can learn the skills to go from working at a Culver's to owning one someday.
The company also invests in their managers and employees by providing continual job training and personality tests and assessments to help form their teams.
"You have to create those opportunities," says Jeff. "You've gotta change that perspective of what people think about your organization or the rest of the hospitality business as a whole."
Jeff says they employ roughly 700 people at their locations across central Indiana, and he and his business partner are always looking to hire more team members.
"We're looking at hiring another 250 over the next 30-60 days throughout our organization," says Jeff.
If you are interested in a career with Culver's you can visit culvers.com.