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Why your corporate culture should be your restaurant's brand standard

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Many things distinguish successful restaurant brands from their competitors. Take Chick-fil-A, for example. The company’s accolades for delicious chicken sandwiches, immaculate dining areas, and friendly employees can all be traced to his one primary source: corporate culture.

When you visit Chick-fil-A’s website, you’ll see an entire page dedicated to the brand. This page explores the chain’s purpose, values, and “culture of care”.

So culture is so important to a restaurant brand, how can a new and growing concept create a positive company culture and build a strong foundation from the start?

culture starts at the top

You cannot build a strong culture without strong leaders. Ultimately, it’s the people that make up the brand, so you need to hire people who embody the brand’s values. Both brands value family and fun, and most importantly, they put people first.

Systems and organization must be in place, but the company must operate with the mindset of giving employees freedom and trusting them to manage their time effectively. If your employees feel micro-managed and your customers pay attention, you can’t say you provide a ‘relaxed environment’. Encouraging collaboration is another great way to increase employee satisfaction.

Joining a brand should be like joining a family

When a business uses the term “family-owned” or says it has a “family-like” culture, it can have negative connotations, but restaurant brands are embracing it and It should operate as a family unit to build strong, long-term relationships with members. , franchisees, customers and other stakeholders. Family is all about teamwork and trust.

Brand employees should never feel alone. This is especially true for emerging brands that are in the process of building their internal culture. The leader Say They have an open door policy. You need to check in regularly and create an environment where everyone feels like they belong.

Compassion is also an important factor. Each new franchise partner or employee becomes part of the brand family and should be treated as such. It’s important to understand that each person has a life outside of work and that life is unpredictable. Be understanding, flexible and supportive, just like a real family member.

Building strong partnerships

Relationships are everything when it comes to promoting a healthy company culture. Another way to keep your company culture at the highest level is to partner with owners and vendors that match your company culture and values. As an emerging restaurant franchisor, you need to lead by example as you bring new owners into your brand.

Choose someone who represents your brand. Part of your culture is to be active in the community, but if prospective franchisees seem uninterested or uninterested in that, they may not be the best fit.

Plus, company culture extends beyond your four walls. Even though you are a company that values ​​transparency and communication, if one of your vendors takes three days to return a call, that vendor isn’t right for you or your franchisee. Hmm. You and everyone involved in your business, inside and outside, set the stage for your place.

stay focused

When it comes to your place, brands that don’t have a strong corporate culture are usually brands whose leaders are discouraged or distracted. Investing in people is the best thing you can do. Entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of day-to-day operations, from finance to marketing to operations.

Sit down and consider what your company culture is, or what it might be, as your expansion continues, and an action plan to continue to encourage that culture as your brand moves from 1 unit to 100 units It is important to create

Always remember the feeling and energy of the first place, even over the thousands. We will focus on the environment we provide as a single unit operator and aim to bring that culture to every unit we open. This will drive the success of other owners as they expand.

Megan Rosen Chief Development Officer of NEXT Brands and Development.