At the heart of every successful restaurant is a company culture that sets the tone for how the staff interacts with customers and with other team members.
A positive and thriving company culture will contribute to better restaurant sales because your staff will be more motivated and proud to work for your establishment. A good company culture promotes the quality of the customer experience, happier employees, and less employee turnover. All of these factors contribute in some way to increased sales and profits.
While you might think that focusing so much on company culture might be a waste of time or money, the truth is that having happy and motivated employees lends itself to providing top-notch customer experience and that in the long run attracts more customers. And, as you know, more customers means more sales.
A restaurant without a strong, healthy company culture is prone to poor performance, high employee turnover, and lackluster customer experience.
Follow these tips to get your restaurant on track and create a culture for your employees that encourages more sales and profits.
1. Remember the Buck Stops Here
Of course, you remember President Lyndon Baines Johnson favorite motto: “The buck stops here.”
If you are the proprietor of the restaurant business or even a manager in charge of developing a company culture, you must remember that you will set the tone and direction of the company culture for the restaurant. The staff will turn to you to be lead by example, and to live by the same standards that you expect of them.
2. Know Your Core Values
Every good company culture has core values as its foundation, even restaurant culture. Core values are guiding principles that you and your employees are expected to always uphold. For example, one of your core values could be to provide the best possible guest experience for every customer. Identify a few core values that you want to use as the basis of your company culture and put them into writing so you can share them with every person you hire.
3. Hire the Right People
With your core values established, you can use them as a measuring stick when hiring employees. Consider compatibility with your company culture as a hiring factor. Choosing staff members that appear to share the same core values will help avoid disappointment down the road.
4. Reward Your Employees
A good company culture rewards its employees when they are performing well. In the restaurant industry that might mean providing a free shift meal or having a team dinner every month. Providing your employees with certain perks can help make them feel valued and motivated to succeed. Rewards and group activities increase employee engagement, which is another essential component of a healthy company culture.
5. Practice Upselling
To increase sales and profits, you also need to establish a sales culture that emphasizes upselling. Upsells like sides, add-ons or upgrades are more profitable menu items and can be a boost to your sales. Training employees to upsell can take some practice, but it is worth it in terms of generating cash. Plus, upselling will generate more sales which help your front of house staff make more sales.
6. Listen to Feedback
A company culture always needs fining tuning, especially in the early stages. That is why it is of utmost importance to listen to feedback not just from your guests, but from employees as well. Remain open to criticism and suggestions. Remember that in many cases there might be areas where you could do better
Based on the feedback of customers and employees, consider areas where you can make improvements. While your core values will rarely change, there are many opportunities to improve things like employee satisfaction, dining room efficiencies, and restaurant design.
7. Establish Your Own Voice
Promoting your restaurant on social media is a must-do for restaurateurs these days. Think about how your company culture extends to your prospective customers. What is the image or face that you want your restaurant to project to the world?
Develop a consistent voice across your social media channels that is representative of your restaurant’s culture and values. This also extends to your branding, decor and menu design.
8. Focus on Food Quality
Beyond having happy employees, loyal customers, and a chipper social media presence, the whole purpose of having a restaurant is to serve delicious, high-quality meals. Restaurants that excel in this area, whether they know it or not, possess the core value of maintaining the highest standard of quality for food. For example, a quick rule about quality could be that if you wouldn’t serve it to your mother, you shouldn’t serve it to your customer. Such rules form the foundation for the degree of ethics and morals you expect from your employees.
Watch it Thrive
By implementing the above behaviors, you will be well on track to having developed a valuable company culture that will put your business on the road to success. Once you have put a company culture in place, it is up to you to continue to maintain it and uphold its values every day.