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How to Create a Company Story that Attracts Great Restaurant Staff

Quick! You’re on an elevator with one of the best bartenders in town and she tells you she’s looking for change. You tell her she should come work for you, to which she replies … why? It’s a great question and one that every great employee should ask. So, why should the best bartender in […]

Quick! You’re on an elevator with one of the best bartenders in town and she tells you she’s looking for change. You tell her she should come work for you, to which she replies … why?

It’s a great question and one that every great employee should ask.

So, why should the best bartender in town come work for you? Better yet, why should the best server, manager, line cook, chef, busser, dishwasher or hostess hang their hat at your restaurant instead of the one down the road?

If you’re not able to answer this question with confidence right now, you’re company story probably needs some work.

What is a Company Story?

Your company story is a combination of your mission, vision, values and beliefs systems. It’s a snapshot of where you’ve been and a vision of where you want to go.

Your company’s story sets the standard for not only how you treat your guests, but how you treat your employees. It’s also a vision for how you want those employees to act and what you want to be known for in your industry.

For this post, we want to help you translate a large vision or mission into a company story that ultimately attracts the best restaurant staff.

Why Your Company Story is so Important!

No matter their size, nearly all great companies have great stories – and employ great storytellers. They don’t have to be difficult stories – nor do there have to be a lot of them. All that matters is that the few stories you do have are easy to understand and chart a course for people in every of your corner of your organization to follow.

Keep It Simple, Pack a Punch

Some companies or franchises already have a company mission, vision, value and belief system – and it’s up to you as a restaurant manager or owner to uphold those standards and live up to that promise.

If you’re more independent, or just starting out, your mission, vision and values should send a clear message to guests and the community that you care about your establishment and the people who work there. It should also illustrate how you inspire them to uphold the company’s standards and vision.

Some examples of great missions and values from food service operators:

Though they are generic enough to appeal to a guest, if you read between the lines you can see how these also work to set a standard for their employees.

Determine Your Unique Value Proposition

Chances are you already know what kind of experience you want to provide your guests. So, next you need to figure out what kind of experience you want for your employees. What will you be known for?

For instance, if your biggest competitor for restaurant staff offers better pay but doesn’t respect their teams’ schedules, then offer reasonable pay and give people more flexibility when it comes to your crew’s time-off options.

If you can’t compete with schedules, figure out ways to make your workplace more fun so that even when the going gets weeded – your team knows there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel called Sunday Staff Dinner.

Here are some other ways you can create a compelling company story that attracts and retains great restaurant staff:

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    • Teamwork

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    • Training

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    • Technology

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    • Great pay

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    • A fun work environment

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    • Growth and management opportunities, or

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    • Servant leadership in your community

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Walk the Talk, Talk the Walk

So you’ve got the mission, vision, values but is anyone listening? In order to get your staff to buy into your vision and want to work hard for it, you’ve got to clearly and consistently communicate and act on those values.

Monkeypod Kitchen Restaurant in Hawaii has a clear vision. “We were founded upon a passion for craft and we are dedicated to mastering the craft of food, drink and merrimaking,” says Christie Snopko, HR Director.

Everything they do – from sourcing local food, to providing their employees with the best restaurant technology in the industry – is derived from that single statement.

As a result, that passion and attention to “merrimaking” gets passed down through their staff to their happy guests every shift.

At the End of the Day … Always Invest in Your People

The key to keeping your edge and consistently attracting top restaurant talent while the cheese is moving is to understand what your tribe is gravitating toward and uniting them under a common culture that still keeps your business thriving.

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