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Share Your Restaurant Values
Nov 30, 2018 bcrfauser01

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.

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Offering a benefits plan can help your business
Nov 20, 2018 bcrfauser01

Offering extended health and dental benefits are one way to attract and retain talent. Investigating small group health plans – like the ones we recently developed with Morneau Shepell – can be a benefit to your business and reduce your individual health care costs and has the benefit of added stability too.

If you think extended health and dental benefits aren’t of interest to younger workers, think again. In our Labour Shortage survey of over 300 operators, we discovered that young workers will choose a part time job that offers benefits over one that doesn’t. The program offerings like glasses and prescription coverage are important for everyone!

>> If your budget is limited, consider a less conventional approach. Health spending accounts allow your employees to choose how they spend health and lifestyle dollars. You can set a matching amount to employee contributions and employees submit receipts for reimbursement.

>> Another innovative approach is to create a symbiotic relationship with businesses near yours. Do you have a massage therapist, coffee shop or a yoga studio nearby? Consider creating a discount structure where your employees receive perks and discounts at partner businesses in exchange for the same discounts for their employees in your restaurant. It’s a great way to meet new guests and make regulars for your business at the same time!

If you are a small or mid-sized restaurant that wants to offer health insurance to your employees, but you’re not sure if you can afford it, take a closer look or email our Human Resources Specialist, Gillian MacGregor.

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Hall of Fame 2018 Recap
Nov 08, 2018 bcrfauser01

BC Restaurant Hall of Fame took place on October 1 at the Italian Cultural Centre. The event was a benchmark for the association as it was the first time that six of 10 inductees were women. Hosted by Jody Vance, the event was attended by 400 industry insiders. Over 20 previous Hall of Fame members, joined the class of 2018 as they were recognized for their contribution to hospitality in BC.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees Sequoia Company of Restaurants’ Eva Gates, winemaker Sandra Oldfield, Les Amis du Fromage’s Allison Spurrell, Burdock and Co.’s Andrea Carlson, the Pear Tree’s Stephanie Jaeger, and Pauline Felicella along with her husband Nick of Nick’s Spaghetti House, Chris Mills and Geoff Boyd of Joey Restaurants and Campagnolo’s Robert Belcham. Angelina Froste and John Aisenstat were honoured posthumously.

The silent and live auction benefited the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Check out 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Fred Lee’s column covering the event:

About Last Night: Party Pics from a Trio of Major Fall Fundraisers