The competition may try to steal recipes, menus, processes or music from you, but they will never be able to steal your brand culture. It’s something that is not only difficult to replicate, but also to keep up . Why is Disney still the best even though the formula of having happy staffers and dancing mascots seems to be so common sense? Because the key is in the planning, execution, supervision and reinforcement.

In order to achieve a successful culture you must be willing to train every day, to implement an induction program that every staff member (from the floor to the office) must go through, have KPI’s and career options, good pay and, most importantly, know that restaurants are a people business. If you’re not a natural born leader, find someone who can help you out in this area. The secret to brand culture? Inspiration. If you don’t dare to be different and shout at the top of your lungs what you’re passionate about, not a single member of your staff will develop an emotional connection with your brand. It doesn’t matter if you’re offering the world’s greatest dish: if a waiter serves it to your customers with a bad attitude, the experience is ruined.

A well defined and differentiated brand culture reduces staff rotation, increases sales, starts a virtuous cycle in the operation and makes jobs easier. If you’re not familiar with the Hillstone Restaurant Group, we suggest you get acquainted.

Here are a few tips to create a good brand culture:

  1. Everything that is quantifiable can be bettered! Remember to ask your customers and staff for feedback using technology and implement the observations.
  2. If you don’t train it, you can’t ask for it.
  3. Publicly award those that have met your expectations.
  4. Remind your sales staff that this is a team sport. Either we all look good together or no one looks good at all.
  5. Put and end to cookie-cutter, robot-like service.
  6. If you’re not up to snuff, out you go! Hire slow, fire fast.

Summing it all up, creating a culture is injecting passion into your team. They are your brand ambassadors, and it is irrelevant whether motivating them from the inside out is easy or difficult: it is a necessity.

By: The Top Dogs.