CHART to Honor Christine Specht of Cousins Subs with its 2021 Commitment to People Award

Christine Specht

Westfield, NJ  (  The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) today announced that Christine Specht, CEO, Cousins Submarines, Inc., is the recipient of its 2021 Commitment to People Award. Christine will be honored at the Commitment to People Awards Gala on Monday evening, September 20, during CHART’s 100th Hospitality Training Conference at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, Atlanta, GA.

“At the start of the pandemic, Christine made it clear that there would be no layoffs at any level at Cousins Subs. A culture of recognition and appreciation allowed them to excel in difficult times and reach financial heights previously unseen in their company history,” said Serah Morrissey, CHART President. “Under her leadership, Cousins Subs was recently recognized as one of the best workplaces in Southeastern Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an award solely based on employee surveys.”

In the award application, Christine’s team offered many examples of her care for people, including implementing a new “Volunteer Time Off” program that allows employees up to 40 hours per year of paid-time-off to give back to the community for a 501c3 organization of their choice. She further walks the talk by making time to have one-on-one lunches with each of the 43 headquarters employees at least once a year, and working in the chain’s 34 corporate-owned restaurants once a week during a regular shift where she interacts with guests and employees, works the cash register, and does other crew-level tasks.

“I am truly honored to receive this award from CHART, and have the Cousins Subs team to thank for their unwavering commitment to making our restaurants better. We can only accomplish our goals through great people who are well-trained and ready to serve our guests,” said Specht. “From day one to nearly 50 years later, Cousins Subs has made our people the priority. This was something I learned from my dad and carry on today. I am dedicated to serving our employees, setting them up for success and, most importantly, caring for them as people with lives, commitments and passions outside of work. I am humbled to accept this award on behalf of all our team members who are more like family than coworkers.”

Created in 1993, this prestigious award is given annually to a CHART member’s CEO/president in the hospitality industry who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the development of his or her associates.

CHART’s Selection Committee reviews and ranks the Commitment to People nominees in four categories:

Effective communication of the organization’s culture
Programs that demonstrate a commitment to people
Efforts to be involved in the development of people
Ability to break down barriers to create opportunities

The past recipients of this prestigious award can be found on CHART’s website at:

Lisa Marovec


CHART (, a non-profit professional association founded in 1970, is the leading resource for the development and advancement of hospitality training professionals and their organizations. With more than 500 members from more than 300 multi-unit restaurant and hotel companies, CHART represents a workforce of almost three million. CHART includes all facets of hospitality training, learning, and performance professionals; from entry level to senior executive. CHART’s mission is to develop hospitality training professionals to improve performance through access to networks, education, and resources. Follow CHART on Twitter at @CHARTtrainers.

About Cousins Subs

Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs®, a family-owned, fast casual sub shop established in 1972 by Bill Specht and his cousin, is driven by the mission to Believe in Better – both in the quality of food it serves and in the communities it supports. Cousins Subs and its franchisees operate nearly 100 sub sandwich shops in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, providing guests with quality deli fresh and made to order grilled subs using only the freshest ingredients on its signature bread baked daily. For more information, visit You can also find Cousins Subs on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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