Make your restaurant brand a cause.
If you are an independent restaurant company owner who wants your organization to be an “employer of choice,” raise your hand. No kidding? Everyone has their hand up! Why is that? Because “employer of choice” equals “I’m fully staffed with people who want to stay.”
We all have experience with today’s workers — their quest for meaning and flexibility in their lives as well as the different way they approach work. To attract, motivate, and retain today’s worker you have to make your restaurant company a cause for them.
What do I mean by a “cause”, though? “Do you mean I need to start donating to the American Heart Association?”; “Are you going all political on me?”; and, “What kind of cause do I have here other than making money?” These are all things I hear. The idea of making their restaurant a cause confuses a lot of long-time successful restaurateurs — including some of my clients who once operated in a different world.
Find Your Cause to Attract and Retain Your Employees
That’s not what I mean, though. Your cause is something your people represent and are proud to be part of. It’s in your differentiators and your uniqueness. Maybe it’s your existing community involvement, your locations and neighborhoods, or how you treat people. Maybe it’s an aspect of food, beverage, marketing, or service.
Whatever it is, those of your people who buy into your cause represent your brand to your guest more sincerely and enthusiastically. They stay and recruit others to join them at your company. Those kind of good vibes create happy guests and increased sales. And they make your organization an employer of choice.
Plus, as a super-awesome bonus, your cause actually does lead to more money.
For most restaurateurs, the cause is already there. Identify and amplify it. Market it internally to both your team and job applicants with as much effort as you market your brand and offerings to diners. Layer your cause into your operating habits until it is part of your culture.
4 Steps to Identifying Your Restaurant’s Cause
- Assemble your team and take an inventory of the unique aspects of your business, culture, offerings, and the way you interact with your community.
- Rank the factors that are most unique, influential, and inspirational to your work force.
- Choose your cause and prepare to market it internally to existing staff and future applicants.
- Experience the benefits of a critical and profitable aspect to enrolling today’s worker.