restaurant culture: restaurant employees laughing in kitchen

The Secret To A Killer Restaurant Culture

This article explains what restaurant culture is, why it’s important, and a few tips to incorporate culture into your restaurant.

Building a company restaurant culture is easier said than done. Culture is creative, not necessarily structured, and it can evolve over time.

What Is Restaurant Culture?

A restaurant’s culture refers to the way a person “feels” when they work somewhere, as well as the expression of the company’s values, goals, and attitudes. Bonus: Diners enjoy the atmosphere of a good restaurant culture. They see happy employees who love their job.

Restaurant culture factors include:

  • Company vision
  • Company mission
  • Organizational strategy
  • Values
  • Norms
  • Systems
  • Symbols
  • Language
  • Assumptions
  • Beliefs
  • Habits

Your business influences the people who work there and visa versa.

Why Restaurant Culture Matters

From your employees’ point of view, restaurant culture is the atmosphere and dynamic they experience with their coworkers, supervisors, managers, and even customers. When your employees feel comfortable within your restaurant culture, they are more likely to enjoy their time at work, develop better relationships, and be more productive.

How to Incorporate Culture

Emphasize Ethics and Values

The concept of ethics in your business is one of the least visible components of your restaurant culture.

Ethics include such behaviors as:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Courteousness
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Excellence
  • Cooperation
  • Competency
  • Morality

Defining your ethics will improve the way your team members act toward each other and your customers.

You must be able to articulate your values upfront. Think about these values and write them out. Once you’ve determined 3-5 specific values, work to enact processes and protocols that inform these values. How would you like those values to manifest? What would they look like? Consider how you train employees to speak with guests or handle complaints. Think about your verbiage and branding.

Walk the Walk

Show your staff with your actions what your culture looks like. Great managers practice a philosophy of never asking an employee to do something that they wouldn’t do themselves. Don’t ask them to “buy into” your vision. Show them that it’s doable, and they’ll want to be involved themselves. It’s easier to build a restaurant company culture when everyone’s on board. Be the example of what you want to promote.

Involve Employees

Create a channel through which employees can submit ideas in building company culture. Be open to these ideas and willing to engage them. Remember that brainstorming ideas and allowing contributions will keep you in touch with your employees and let them be heard.

If your employees feel like they can contribute to the restaurant’s company culture and have an actual effect on their working environment, they’re far more likely to adopt this culture themselves.

Refine Your Vision And Mission Statements

A vision statement is a declaration of an organization’s objectives intended to guide internal decision-making. A mission statement is a short description of what your company does for its customers, its employees, and its owners.

When you define your vision and mission statements, they’ll communicate to your team members what your business is all about guiding them in their behavior and laying the foundation for a strong restaurant culture.

Time to Engage

Communicate your culture to your team. Remind them at meetings or team huddles and define the culture in the employee handbook. Culture needs to engage employees. Restaurant managers have to do all they can to retain and motivate their staff and it can be done with a strong restaurant culture.

How to Create the Ultimate Dining Experience in Your Restaurant

By Leslie Radford
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