MMI Dining Systems Animal Welfare Policy

MMI Dining Systems is using the internationally recognized “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare as an aspiration for animal welfare in our supply chain:


  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by ensuring prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering


As a step in our continual process for improved animal welfare, we’re taking the following actions:

  • Eggs: We will transition to exclusively cage-free eggs, including all our shell and liquid egg purchasing, by 2020, or earlier as adequate supplies become available.
  • Pork: We’ll work with our suppliers to source exclusively gestation crate-free pork by 2020 or earlier.  We’ll also work with our suppliers to prevent painful castration of piglets and the eventual elimination of tail docking.
  • Veal: We only use veal from operations that use group housing (no crates) for calves raised for veal.
  • Dairy/Beef: All milk which we purchase is free of antibiotics and artificial hormones.  Additionally, we have worked with our suppliers to provide pain relief for disbudding and castration procedures, and to eventually eliminate tail docking and dehorning.
  • Broiler Chickens: By 2024, we will source only chickens certified by Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and require all chickens to be processed in a manner that avoids live-dumping and live-shackling and instead utilizes a pre-shackle, multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system that is widely regarded as more humane.
  • Plant-based meals: We’ll work with our properties to offer a greater selection of delicious plant-based meals that appeal to meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

Revised August 2017

Top 10 Benefits of Working in Hospitality

If you are like any normal student who did not score full rides to college, you probably had work to do while in school. You may have had the babysitter gig, been a waiter, bussed tables, delivered pizzas, or something else related to service.

You also probably never thought you would do anything remotely similar to that job once you got into the “real world” as they call it. Most of these jobs are serving people, and are categorized in the Hospitality industry.

While you may have not ever imagined yourself in one of these environments full-time, I am going to show you 10 reasons why a career in hospitality may be the right fit for you.

The Top 10 Reasons Hospitality Is The Right Path For You

  1. Challenging And Fast-Paced Environment

Do you ever feel like it is groundhog day? You get up, brush your teeth, take a shower (I hope), go to school/work and learn/do the same things, come home, watch Netflix while eating dinner and go to bed.

Any job in Hospitality is so far removed from this concept that if it were a planet, it would be farther from the sun than Pluto! Each day is a new day with new challenges. If you prefer to do the same thing over and over again, be my guest (pun intended).

  1. Career Stability

After the recession in 2008-2009, many markets crashed and jobs became scarce. Do you have any idea of where people went to work after being laid off? You guessed it – Hospitality.

Jobs in hospitality have grown 17% from 2004 – 2014 compared to the average of others at 14%.

  1. Climb The Ladder…Two Rungs At Once!

The great thing about hospitality is that everyone is given a shot to climb their way to the top. Although the same could be said of other industries, hospitality is drenched with opportunity to earn more responsibility and grow in status. Even a Busboy can grow to be a Store Manager.

  1. Knowledge and Skill Growth

Similarly to the idea of climbing the ladder, you are always learning something new – from new knowledge to knowing how to handle complicated situations. After just a year on a job, you are exposed to many challenges that force you to expand your figurative tool belt.

For example, a Bellhop learns how to observe little details to enhance service level, a Catering Manager learns different menu styles for different groups soon knowing what a group needs before being asked, and a waitress learns to balance ten plates on her head (okay maybe that is a stretch, but you get the point).

  1. Cultural Exposure

Just as hospitality jobs are everywhere, so will you meet people from everywhere. A large part of Hospitality is giving people respite from traveling and normal work/life activities.

You are going to see many people from all across the world come through your doors. Where else can you meet a Russian, a Jamaican, and an Australian all in one day?

  1. Visible Impact

Some people who work in manufacturing plants or in software programming do not get the chance to see the end product. In the Hospitality space, you get to see how your actions make someone’s day in real-time. For example, a Waiter may count the number of people he makes smile in one shift.

  1. Do You Like People?

If you are any relative of an extrovert (even a second-cousin), you will find your fill in hospitality. If you are an introvert, that is also okay! There are jobs for you too such as a Catering Chef or a Virtual Travel Agent.

  1. Flexibility (but we’re not talking about Yoga)

Some may wince at the idea that I am talking about the idea of flexibility, often citing working holidays, weekends and nights. The truth of the matter is that you also have a flexible work schedule where you can set the tone for when you want to work.

In a traditional environment, you are handcuffed to the 9-5 slot every day! What a difference it could make if you could beat the traffic or go grocery shopping without the hustle and bustle.

  1. Do You Like Being Around Cool People?

The thing about hospitality is that you are surrounded around by really cool people all of the time. What other environment offers a culture where everyone shares the philosophy of serving other people?

  1. Bring Out Your Inner Entrepreneur

You will often find yourself getting creative with problem-solving and implementing on-the-go solutions that are Entrepreneur-esque. With other jobs, you are typically tied to policies and regulations, but most of the time in Hospitality you can make a change with the snap of your fingers and you get to see the bottom-line results.

Hospitality may not be for everyone, I get it. there are some people who like dull lives where they would rather sit in a cubicle at the same time every day for the rest of their lives. But, if you are looking for something more than that, a chance to grow and make a difference one person at a time, hospitality may be the gig for you.

Thanks to Jackie Edwards for providing MMI with this content.

Director of Human Resources Announced

renee-stormesWe are excited to share that Renee Stormes has joined MMI Hospitality Group as Director of Human Resources.  With a resume that includes leadership roles and degrees in human resources and labor relations as well as hotel, restaurant and travel administration, I am confident in knowing that she is well suited to support the MMI family.

Renee began her career with MMI this week and is studying our handbook, policies and procedures feverishly in advance of getting out to meet the many Team Members she will support in her role going forward.

She is excited about this new role where she will bring two loves (HR and hospitality) together!

To learn more about Renee, you can visit her LinkedIn Profile.

MMI Announces New Home Office Leaders

mmihospitalityfinaltransparentMMI Hospitality Group, a full-service hospitality development and management company, announces the addition of four, new Home Office Team Members.

MMI is excited to share that Renee Stormes has joined MMI Hospitality Group as Director of Human Resources.  “With a resume that includes leadership roles and degrees in human resources and labor relations as well as hotel, restaurant and travel administration, we am confident in knowing that she is well suited to support the MMI family,” stated Gaines Sturdivant, President of MMI Hospitality Group.

Amy Smith knows that excelling in IT requires a balance of technical and communication skills.  As MMI’s newest IT Specialist, Smith has already taken great strides in bolstering the full-service model that MMI Hospitality Group in known for.  The statement: “If you aren’t serving the guest, we at MMI are charged to serve those who are serving the guests.” is a company mantra.

Additionally, MMI Hotel Group, a division of MMI Hospitality Group, has selected Blake Butler to support its property teams as Resource Manager.  With operational experience at both Hilton and IHG-franchised hotels, Blake is qualified to tackle various tasks.  Just recently, Blake was recognized as Hotel Manager of the Year for the Holiday Inn Express he opened and led in Brookhaven, MS.

MMI Dining Systems, the company’s contract food service division, added Gene Pickardt to its team as Resource Manager.  Directly interacting with a number of organizations’ board and F&B Team Members, Pickardt demonstrates hospitality daily.

MMI Hospitality Group Recognized among Mississippi’s Best Employers

Shelby Trusty, Director of Human Resources for MMI Hospitality Group, accepts the Best Places to Work honor from MBJ Publisher Alan Turner.

Shelby Trusty, Director of Human Resources for MMI Hospitality Group, accepts the Best Places to Work honor from MBJ Publisher Alan Turner.

MMI Hospitality Group is immensely honored to be recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal in their 2015 Best Places to Work in Mississippi listing. On Friday, June 26th, MMI Hospitality Group was honored at a luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Business Journal in Jackson, Mississippi where it was recognized in the large category among other noteworthy employers.

MMI Hospitality Group centers itself around its Core Values: We put people first; We pursue excellence; We embrace change; We act with integrity; and We serve our community. These values make us who we are. As we change and grow, the beliefs that are most important to us stay the same. Being part of MMI Hospitality Group means being part of a family with a proud history and a thriving culture.

MMI does not use the word “employee”. We use the term Team Member to recognize that we are all part of a team working together towards a common goal. We support each other to achieve success. This practice results in our Team Members remaining engaged in our work, as well as low turnover. To reward service, MMI offers recognition at each milestone anniversary. Our co-founder, Mr. Earle Jones, began our first service recognition program around the principle of providing an “experience” for each Team Member. Since our business is all about serving guests, Mr. Jones wanted to allow our Team Members to BE the guest. At 20 years, Team Members receive a Carnival cruise for two. At 30 years, Team Members are given an allowance for a 4 night/5 day vacation for two anywhere in the continental US. At 40 years, Team Members are given an allowance for a 5 night/6 day vacation for two to the location of their choice. Monetary awards are given at other milestone anniversaries.

MMI values our people. We place an importance on celebrating not only our successes as a company, but also those of our people. If you walk in to any of our locations on any given day, you may encounter a birthday celebration, a baby shower for a Team Member, or a monthly Team Member Appreciation luncheon. We want our people to enjoy their time at MMI and spread that positive attitude on to the guests we encounter each day.

From the very beginning, MMI has been more than just a business. We are a family, first. Our business has grown quite a bit since that first day in 1956, and our family has grown right along with it. Handshakes are passed on and hugs run rampant, and as we continue to grow, we promise that this will never change.

Each year, the MBJ accepts nominations from Mississippi businesses for this recognition. Partnered with Southern Research Group, MBJ sends out surveys to the Team Members of each business to measure different factors that make a great place to work such as engagement, transparency, development, fairness, and trust. Team Members are asked to anonymously rank their employer on this survey, and results are submitted directly to Southern Research Group who compiles the data and designates the honorees that make the list.

Motivate Your Customer-Experience Team

Outstanding customer experience requires motivated, empowered frontline employees. To engage your customer-experience team and motivate them to provide an exceptional customer experience:

  • Hire for attitude, not aptitude — and then reinforce attitude. To get friendly service, hire friendly people. Recruit frontline staff with a natural service bent by conducting group interviews. Seeing how applicants interact with one another will help you assess their communication and people skills.
  • Focus on purpose, not rules. Rules are necessary, but they go only so far. To motivate employees and give meaning to their work, define your company’s purpose: a succinct explanation of the intended customer experience that resonates at an emotional level. When you set clear expectations and trust your people to do their jobs, they’ll feel valued and empowered – and they’ll go that extra mile through passion, not compliance.

provided by the Harvard Business Review

To read the full article, click here: Motivate Your Customer

Mississippi ACA Exchanges Provide Support

As you know, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened yesterday and has an online listing of our on- and off-exchange individual health insurance plan offerings in Mississippi and the 13 other states where Humana is participating in the state health care exchanges.

Details about how citizens can learn more about Humana’s offerings in Mississippi are available using the link below.

Humana Exchange


Earle F. Jones Passed Away

Earle F. Jones, co-chairman and founder of MMI Hospitality Group, peacefully passed away on August 6. Mr. Jones has always shown compassion for others in business and the greater community as an industry and civic leader.  His contribution to our company, city, and state will live on as the foundation for our company’s family culture based on integrity and the respect for each individual.  He will be sorely missed.

+ Mississippi News Now: Earle Jones Dies

+ Clarion-Ledger: Earle Jones Obituary

+ Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: Earle Jones Gave Much To So Many

+ Eulogy by Gaines P. Sturdivant