Yes, Your Restaurant Needs Strong Corporate Culture

Amanda Dodge

Amanda Dodge has six years of digital marketing experience. She enjoys digging into what brands do well and where they go wrong. Her specialties include working with companies in the retail, non-profit, and marketing sectors. She is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Most people think about brands like Zappos or Google when they talk about strong corporate culture – but restaurants need to consider their culture as well. From large chains like Outback Steakhouse to small, local shops, your company culture plays a significant role in your success. Company culture affects your staff and your profits, but it also impacts your customers. Here’s why you need to keep your overall culture in mind within your restaurant. 

Two restaurant employees smiling and looking at a tablet

Your culture contributes to your atmosphere

You might not realize it, but your customers pick up on your overall culture. They can tell when a culture is toxic and when employees aren’t happy to be there. This is reflected in how your wait staff treats customers, how your kitchen responds to mistakes, and how your staff members interact with each other.

No one wants to be in a room where people are fighting – it’s uncomfortable. The same can be said for your customers sitting in a room where your staff members don’t get along. If your customers feel like you have a toxic culture and your employees aren’t happy to be there, then they won’t return. 

Oftentimes, a toxic culture compounds onto itself. A poor culture turns customers off, which causes a drop in sales and negative reviews. Lower sales and tips lead to lower morale and worse behavior, creating a downward spiral for many restauranteurs. This is why it is essential to have a set of guidelines for corporate culture that your team can always turn to, even when your staff members are stressed or facing tough challenges.   

A good culture will reduce your stress levels

As a restaurant owner or manager, you face countless decisions each day. These range from big issues about keeping staff members or suppliers to small problems related to garnish and menu listings. The more your staff members can take on to solve problems on their own, the less you need to do.

A good company culture will create an empowered and independent staff. Your team members will feel confident in making decisions and can solve problems without immediately running to you. This allows the management team to focus on bigger issues and high-level problems. It also makes your day-to-day work less stressful because you know that your team is empowered to do their work well.  

Your turnover rate drops

The hospitality industry is notorious for having a high turnover rate. Some businesses can see turnover of almost 75% each year. Hiring and training new employees to fill your gaps costs you time and resources. Not only do you need to sort through resumes and bring in candidates for interviews, but your other staff members have to train the new team members and pick up the slack when you are understaffed. 

A strong company culture reduces turnover. People want to work for companies that treat them well. They stay with employers that respect them. This also means that your team members are less likely to quit if your company hits a rough patch and will work hard to get through it.  

These reduced turnover rates will also benefit your sales. Your customers will recognize staff members and form emotional connections with your business – bringing them back time and again. Plus, a more experienced staff leads to better service, fewer complaints, and higher tips.  

You will attract better staff members

Even restaurants with the best company culture will have turnover. Fortunately, a good culture will also attract good staff members. You will have an easier time finding trained chefs and bartenders who want to work in your store. You will also be able to recruit better waitstaff who have years of experience and good recommendations. 

More skilled workers are higher in demand, which means they can be pickier about their offers. If you aren’t creating an engaging place to work through your company culture, then you won’t get the best staff and will need to spend more time training and managing them.  

Your culture covers much more than employee behavior. It is reflected in how your customers experience your restaurant, how your kitchen works to prepare food, and what your brand stands for as a whole. Taking time to focus on company culture can go a long way to improve employee morale and grow your sales, tips, and overall revenue. 

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