Your restaurant’s culture is a vital component of its identity. It affects how your customers, your employees, and your community perceive your establishment. Essentially, it sets the stage for everything that happens there.

QSR Magazine’s Marketing Guru Denise Lee Yohn writes: “A strong corporate culture attracts customers, engages employees, and enables better decision-making.

A strong company culture can benefit your business and contribute to success in a variety of ways. From improving staff retention to increasing customer loyalty, fostering a positive, service-minded culture is one of the most practical ways to boost sales and keep your customers and employees happy.

Here are 3 ways that a strong restaurant culture can help boost your sales:

Culture sets the tone of your operations

First and foremost, a restaurant’s culture stems from its core values and affects every aspect of its operations. Your culture plays a vital role in shaping your establishment’s atmosphere. It sets the tone for how you engage with your customers and your community.

Investing in a good manager or management team who understands your core values and vision is a great place to start. Good management flows from the top down. A good manager, who is well-trained and skilled at training others, will be able to build and nurture a strong culture—one your entire staff will want to be part of.

From kitchen staff to hostesses, each and every staff member affects your restaurant’s culture and the customer experience. By fostering a strong company culture that aligns with your goals, there will be an unspoken standard of expectations.

Culture drives engagement and establishes standards

A strong company culture not only fosters enthusiasm and loyalty among your employees, but it also shapes the experience you offer your customers and, in turn, how they perceive you.

Diners are paying for more than a delicious meal; they’re paying for an experience. Consequently, the atmosphere you create for your customers is the product of the restaurant culture you’ve built and how effectively you’ve instilled that culture in your staff.

Customer service is also a critical component of hospitality. Therefore you want your restaurant’s culture to support your your guest experience and, ultimately, boost business. Fostering a culture that makes employees feel welcome and cared about will likely reflect in their service skills. Guests left with a positive impression are likely to return time and time again.

A strong culture establishes standards, and standards lead to better, more consistent customer service.

Culture boosts employee satisfaction and retention

In addition to garnering better results from your staff, a strong company culture also increases employee satisfaction and retention. Happy employees with long tenure are more invested and immersed in their roles and, ultimately, the success of your business.

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry suffers from one of the highest employee turnover rates across all industries, at about 73%. Keeping high-quality, well-performing employees is a challenge for many managers, and high employee turnover can be costly. The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University estimates that turnover costs approximately $5,864 per employee.

Therefore, your restaurant’s culture plays an important component of reducing employee turnover and keeping staff happy. Donald Burns (The Restaurant Coach™) suggests “build[ing] a culture where your team is appreciated and given the chance to grow” and succeed. Employees happiness is tightly linked with a healthy and supportive workplace culture. Those who enjoy working in the culture you have fostered and see opportunities for career advancement or development are more likely to want to stick around. After all, happy employees only help your business thrive!

In Conclusion

In short, your restaurant’s culture is a living, breathing part of your business. It affects just about every aspect of its operations, from hiring, training, and managing your employees, to your restaurant’s atmosphere and the experience you provide your guests. That’s why it’s important to develop and foster a strong company culture that aligns with your overall goals, and one that you, your staff, and your customers want to spend time in. 

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