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To create the most favourable environment for our members to succeed.

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BCRFA INDUSTRY NEWS

christmasparty
Being a responsible employer during Christmas Party Time
Dec 13, 2018

At this time of the year when people are celebrating, many employers think it’s important to have a party for their staff. In fact, given the new workplace realities, it isn’t necessary and isn’t always the best idea. Employees may drink or smoke marijuana at parties – and too much consumption can result in inappropriate behaviour or impaired driving.

 

If inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment happens at your staff party, you, the employer is liable just like it happened at work. If someone leaves the staff party, intoxicated, and something happens, like an accident or a roadblock, you’re liable the same as if the employee became intoxicated at work.

 

There are great alternatives that don’t have to include the options for getting intoxicated:

  • Consider a destination party, such as a trip to a local Christmas event, concert or play where alcohol or marijuana will be limited or not available.
  • Try a holiday breakfast or lunch that allows people to celebrate within work hours – giving the staff time to gather and connect without imposing on an evening or weekend.
  • Have an early, straight after work reception (such as dinner from 5 to 8 or a lunch party from 12 to 2), restrict alcohol or don’t serve it. If alcohol is served, assure everyone has a safe ride.

Celebrate the season without having a party:

  • Taking the money the party would have cost and giving each employee a small bonus.
  • Ask your employees if they would rather have a party or make a charitable donation instead. Everyone is busy and not having to attend the traditional staff party, for some, is a gift of time.
  • Celebrate the season with a charity drive that your company matches staff donations of items or dollars.
  • Consider having your team go and serve a healthy meal for those in need in your community.
  • Try a friendly, team building competition between teams of employees (front of house versus back of house for example) where everyone will get into the spirit of giving. Collect food for the foodbank, hats, socks and scarves for the homeless or pet items – the team who collects the most could be given a prize and bragging rights. They could pick the charity for next year’s event.

The holiday season can be incredibly busy and stressful for our industry. Think outside the box for ways you can honour your staff and the season.

If you need help or advice, remember we at the BCRFA have the resources to help you. Call Gillian at 604 505 2374 at any time if you have a question.

Happy Holidays from us at the BCRFA to you and your team.

Chef_web
Leadership = Success
Dec 04, 2018

As we look to the close of the year, and we are hoping to close the year on a high note with holiday parties, full reservations books and large guest cheques, we also start thinking about the year in review and the chance to start planning for changes in the New Year. It is the busy times when good management matters the most. Are your managers and team leads prepared for the onslaught? Will they represent the best of your company?

This year, let your year end goal be about creating a successful workplace with strong employee relationships and great customer service. Prepared and trained managers are the best embodiment of your company.

Start with leadership training or business coaching.

One executive chef we spoke to during our labour shortage research told us that he stayed 5 years in a company because he truly enjoyed and benefited from the connection with his business coach. He had the training to be a chef and to prepare great meals – but he didn’t have a handle on the connections, processes and procedures to be a business leader and a manager of a large staff team. Early in his time with the restaurant, his owner connected him with a business coach – who could be called upon to provide guidance and leadership ideas. It was just what the chef needed to grow his own management style. That connection brought him personal and professional growth and helped him transition from trained chef to an amazing executive chef.  This model can simply be a mentoring relationship – the coach can be paid or unpaid – but it can be game changing for retention and development. Think about how you can include mentorship in your senior management compensation.

Explore and recognize formal training.

If you see the value in traditional, consider supporting formal education and training courses. Colleges and night schools have programs available – and the cost to employer and employee can far outweigh the benefits. As an employer you can support workers earning formal certifications three ways: paying for classes, providing time off for professional development OR by creating direct correlation between career advancement and educational achievements. People who see connections between education and promotions or raises in your company are value their positions more.

We will continue to suggest ways to build success through better leadership as we end 2018 and as we go into 2019. If you need ideas, reach out.

Gillian MacGregor, human resources advisor, and Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, are available to answer questions and provide advice: 604.669.1239.

For more information:

https://www.modernrestaurantmanagement.com/essential-leadership-skills-for-new-restaurant-managers/

Website-Wine+Food
Share Your Restaurant Values
Nov 30, 2018

As part of our Metro Vancouver Labour Shortage Study finalized in March 2018, we identified that one of the ways that a restaurant can stand out to attract new staff and customers alike is to strongly communicate your company values and vision. What does that mean?

The clearest examples of restaurants communicating their values and vision are vegan restaurants. In our study, we found that vegan restaurants are facing the least challenges with regards to recruiting. Why?  

The word vegan itself conveys a value proposition. It removes every items of animal origin from a menu: no meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, honey and so forth. If someone is applying for a job in a vegan restaurant, they are likely to themselves be vegan – this creates a shared value system within the team from the first interaction.

Veganism tells customers and employees alike what kind of food will be served, what styles of ingredients will be used and also speaks to the choices of the owners around cleaning products and restaurant furnishings – creating a program throughout the restaurant that aligns with the broader vegan value system. In a market where there is fierce competition for staff, particularly cooks and chefs, this way of standing out and creating alignment makes a clear point of differentiation and allows prospective employees to connect with a vegan restaurant where they may not another restaurant. Can a non-vegan restaurant copy this model of value transparency?

At BCRFA, we think that yes – any business can do this. We know that many businesses in BC are strong supporters of local networks, local foods, beers, wines and spirits. Promoting your commitment to local – or to buying BC – is an easy point of differentiation for your business. Many customers and staff look for the option of support local buying decisions in their daily personal and business routines. It has a feel good component, an economic benefit and creates community connections between business owners. Emphasizing this local passion and commitment and your businesses support of local BC farmers, producers and processors is an easy way for your business to connect with someone who shares your local values.

Restaurant customers are becoming more interested in a focus on healthier eating and a growing global interest in how ingredients are sourced, and from where. This new interest in healthy food and ingredients gives restaurants a compelling reason to create stand out points.

How do you do this?

  • Promote your brand voice, values and vision across your social media channels and website.
  • Let your customers know what you believe in, and what you stand for.
  • Talk your food programs.
  • If you have ethics and morals that inform your menu and ingredients choices, talk about what those are and why they matter to you.
  • If you have comprehensive staff programs that tie in with your menu and hospitality, speak openly about how your programs connect staff and guest experience.
  • Do you have energy saving or waste management programs that make an environmental difference? These are great things to promote because it talks about your sustainability efforts.
  • Do you consistently support a local charities and foundations? Talk about your community partnerships and where your community donations go.
  • Be honest! It’s easy to check facts online – and if you are caught out misleading guests, negative backlash can be the outcome.

We encourage all restaurants to share your values – and to use this as strong way to connect with potential staff and customers alike!

Gillian MacGregor, our HR expert, is available to help answer any questions regarding your staff planning – 604.669.2239.