Share Your Restaurant Values
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.