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4 Tips For Building A Stronger Restaurant Culture

Want to improve what your team members do, what they say, how they behave, and how they treat others (coworkers and customers alike)? Build a strong restaurant culture.

In this article, the management experts at Sling show you how to enhance your restaurant culture in order to bring your employees together as a team and make your business run smoother.

What Is Restaurant Culture?

diners enjoying the atmosphere of a good restaurant culture

In order to understand restaurant culture, you first need to step back and look at the broad definition of company culture (a.k.a. organizational culture).

That general, textbook definition is:

The behavior within an organization and the meaning that people attach to that behavior.

As a tool for understanding, that concept is rather vague. But when you zoom in and identify the fundamental factors that contribute to the behavior within an organization, the whole idea begins to make more sense.

Those fundamental factors include:

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

When you understand that these aspects of your business influence the culture therein, you can begin to implement small improvements — to vision, values, language, habits, etc. — that send ripples throughout your company.

Why Restaurant Culture Matters

Business people having a meeting at a restaurant

Restaurant culture matters because it’s the “everyday life” of your team and your business as a whole.

From your employees’ point-of-view, restaurant culture is the atmosphere and dynamic they experience with their coworkers, supervisors, and managers.

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.

If, on the other hand, your employees don’t feel comfortable within your restaurant culture, they are far less likely to enjoy their time at work. As a result, their relationships and productivity will suffer.

Restaurant culture even affects your customers. The behaviors your team members exhibit grow directly from whether they’re happy with the culture or not.

A disgruntled employee can unknowingly poison the customer experience and drive satisfaction down. That, then, affects your bottom line and the success of your business.

How To Build A Strong Restaurant Culture

men working in a restaurant and creating a productive culture

1) Emphasize Ethics

The concept of ethics in your business is one of the least visible components of your restaurant culture. But, when done right, ethics have far-reaching effects that manifest in every corner of your company.

Ethics include such behaviors as:

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

When you emphasize ethics as an underlying principle, you have a profound impact on your restaurant culture by improving the way your team members act toward each other and your customers.

For a more in-depth examination of how ethics influence restaurant culture, take a moment to read our article Transform Your Business Culture With Ethics In The Workplace.

2) 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.

As you can see from the definitions, a mission statement and a vision statement are closely related. So much so that many managers confuse the two.

To help dispel the confusion, think about the two in terms of who, what, why, and where.

The vision statement is the where of your business — where you want the company to be and where you want your customers, your community, and your world to be as a result of your product or service.

The mission statement, then, is the who, what, and why of your business. Think of the mission statement as a roadmap or action plan that guides you in making the vision statement a reality.

When you fully refine your vision and mission statements, they inform your team members as to what your business is all about. This information guides them in their behavior and lays the foundation for a strong restaurant culture.

3) Establish An Organizational Strategy

Organizational strategy is a plan that specifies how your business will allocate resources (e.g., money, labor, and inventory) to support infrastructure, production, marketing, inventory, and other business activities.

When you sit down to create your organizational strategy, you should first divide it into three distinct categories:

  1. Corporate level strategy
  2. Business level strategy
  3. Functional level strategy

Think of each category as a building block in the larger organizational strategy that guides your business.

With these strategies in place, you give your business direction and priorities, which then influence culture.

4) Define Culture In Your Employee Handbook

Your employee handbook is a resource that tells team members what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.

Adding a section that defines your company’s culture is an effective way to state directly a business aspect that often goes unspoken.

For help creating and perfecting your employee handbook, check out our article 11 Tips For Making A Restaurant Employee Handbook.

Create A Positive Culture Through Scheduling

Sling's scheduling feature

If you want to create a positive culture in your restaurant, use Sling to create the perfect work schedule for your team.

Sling simplifies and streamlines every aspect of the scheduling process — from who works when, where, and in what job to labor expenses, payroll, and overtime — giving you more time (and energy) to focus on building and maintaining a happy, healthy, and productive culture.

Conflict alert on Sling's scheduling app

Not only is Sling an extremely powerful and versatile scheduling app, but it’s also a mobile time clock, labor-cost analyzer, intra-business messaging system, newsfeed manager, and employee task list all rolled into one easy-to-use package.

You can even use one Sling account to schedule employees across multiple locations. Add in the onboard A.I. that notifies you when there’s a scheduling conflict or you missed a request for time off, and you’ve got the perfect system for managing your team.

And when you’re happy with the schedule and your team members are happy with the schedule, it’s much easier to maintain a strong restaurant culture.

Sling mobile app on a phone screen

The Sling app is free, easy to use, and will help you spend your time more efficiently so you can concentrate on building the intangible aspects of your team — like company culture, your management style, and your business as a whole.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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