It’s the current sign of the times: “Now Hiring”. Businesses everywhere, in many industries, are struggling to keep enough staff on board to keep things moving—and this has hit the restaurant industry especially hard. TIME magazine reported in the spring that restaurant labor was down 12% at bars and restaurants, which is a trend that has only continued as we inch into the winter months.
When trends are moving in a certain direction, it creates a counter-cultural move to set your business apart. According to Scott Greenberg, a speaker, writer, and business coach, the key tactic is to create a culture all your own.
“The many great restaurant owners I’ve met over the years who dominate their brands and hang onto employees prioritize culture-building,” Greenberg writes for Nation’s Restaurant News. “They hire for it (even in today’s climate). They train for it. They work on it constantly. Consequently, they enjoy more retention and better performance.”
Greenberg works specifically with franchisees, but his guiding principles apply to any restaurant business owner will to take the time and effort required to build a unifying culture. In fact, his culture-building methods are centered wholly around unification. By creating a shared experience and shared goals, Greenberg’s disciples know their employees are invested in more than just a job. They’re invested in a community; they have something to belong to.
“Company culture refers to the social norms of a workplace,” he goes on to say. “It’s how the team sees itself and what members expect from one another. It’s the goals they focus on and how they agree to interact.”
Greenberg’s principles are simple: Establish a clear set of beliefs. Establish a clear set of rituals. And train accordingly. (Read the breakdown here.)
Part of why National Restaurant Consultants (NRC) boast such a high success rate is our own established culture. Our consultants, all with decades’ worth of experience, are in agreement on what works in the restaurant business. We information-share, we deliberate, we contribute to common goals—and then we pass this culture along to our clients.
Richard Weil, principal and owner of NRC says, “Define your culture and your points of differentiation. In today’s hyper-competitive labor pool, interviewing for your culture, hiring for your culture, and training for your culture will set your restaurant apart and give your business the competitive advantage it needs to hire and retain fantastic team members.”