Culture is more than just a corporate buzzword. It’s the reason that customers fall in love with brands and the reason that employees stick with companies through thick and thin. The right culture can have an amazing impact on any company’s work environment and even its bottom line. But, how exactly do you create a world-class culture?
You might think that your culture has been locked-in since day one and the only way it will change is if it naturally evolves. In reality, that’s just not the case. Culture can change naturally, but as someone working in QSR or restaurant management, you’re much better off creating a plan and taking steps to purposefully change your restaurant culture.
Let’s look at some of the best ways to make lasting changes to your culture and how to make sure they stick.
Define your culture
You can’t start a journey unless you know which way to go. The same is true for your restaurant culture. Do you want your culture to reflect an upbeat whimsical attitude? A fast-paced service environment that lets customers get back to their work? Or maybe something in between?
By defining the qualities that you want your clients to perceive when working with you, you’ll be able to make better decisions on your restaurant culture. You can also start imagining how your employees need to interact with one another and your customers to make your dream culture a reality.
Start with your leadership
Culture changes don’t start in the trenches. If your leaders aren’t making the changes, then neither will your staff. This means that your leaders can’t just be responsible for defining the culture, they also need to lead the change.
To achieve this, focus on ways your leadership team can promote your new restaurant culture. For example, inject culture into the hiring practices, promote hands-on onboarding and training, listen to the voice of your team, celebrate tenure, etc. This will affect how they talk to employees, run meetings, and deal with customers. When they can lead by example, the effects of the culture change will start to spread throughout your entire staff. This can make a huge difference when it comes to getting your new culture in place quickly.
Everybody has something to contribute
It can be easy for QSR management to think of employees like expenses — like they’re just another line item on the budget that you need to worry about paying. But, that’s not the way companies with strong cultures view their employees. Instead, they view employees as assets that can help boost your culture instead of detracting from it.
When your managers make this paradigm shift, it can go a long way toward eliminating toxic attitudes from the workplace. The "us vs. them" attitude disappears and you’re able to focus on growing the business together as one cohesive team.
Creating a restaurant culture that grows your business
Culture is king in modern businesses. It sets the tone for how things get done, how your team is treated, and how your customers feel. If you think that your company culture is lacking, then take 20 minutes to write down what your ideal culture looks like. Then, pick a company that is renowned for great culture, like Costco or Google, and pull some of your favorite (doable) practices from their culture. Make it a goal of yours to implement one of these culture tactics per month for the next few months, and see how it influences your business. You may be surprised at the positive results!