Every day I am with restaurateurs and hoteliers to spread the word about the opportunities that the Digital Revolution also offers in the hospitality industry, and in particular about corporate culture. It is a challenging and difficult task especially because of the daily problems that an entrepreneur or manager in the sector has to face.
Among these problems, surely the most nagging and difficult one is the lack of personnel, which, in the years I spent as a restaurateur and hotelier, did not let me sleep at night!
It was easy for me to complain, but today I realize that it is no use! In fact, there are Restaurants that have become COMPANIES thanks to enlightened employees who manage to attract and retain at the expense of the market trend. The secret? Developing an enlightened and fluid corporate culture, as in the case of the Alajmo brothers who just recently organised a mega company party to thank the more than 250 collaborators of the 12 activities they manage.
In this article
- Why is corporate culture important in the restaurant and hospitality industry?
- How to develop a winning corporate culture
- The Alajmo brothers’ company party
Why is corporate culture important in the restaurant and hospitality industry?
Doing the due diligence, now that the pandemic is a closed chapter, the tourism, restaurant and hospitality sectors are experiencing a new phase of expansion conditioned by the major problem of staff shortages.
It is no coincidence that there is great competition between restaurants and hotels that insist on looking for staff to hire without wanting to adapt to a world that has been disrupted by the Digital Revolution in the last 20 years.
When I talk to a former colleague about corporate culture, I see that he follows me attentively but, in practice, continues to behave as usual and thus achieve the same poor results.
The mega party organised by the Alajmo brothers, restaurant entrepreneurs, provided me with two very interesting insights that I would like to share with you, Dear Colleague:
- How can business be developed through an effective corporate culture that attracts talented employees?
- What can a company do to thank its employees and develop a sense of belonging?
Let me be brutal: if a colleague organizes an event like this committing significant physical and financial resources there must be a good reason?
Don’t think as I would have done a few years ago: ‘and yes Giancarlo but ‘those’ have 12 restaurants and can afford it. Start thinking that ‘those’ have come to expand their business from ‘Le Calandre’ restaurant precisely because they think and behave differently from you.
So should we or should we not take a cue from the best?
In this article, we will explore why Corporate Culture can be as important in the Restaurant and Hospitality industry as it is in so many other industries, such as innovative start-ups. An enlightening book where you can learn more about this topic is: ‘The only rule is that there are no rules. Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention’ written by the founder of Netflix who changed the way we enjoy television and film, Reed Hastings.
Imagine Corporate Culture as the operating system of your computer, without it you would have an unusable container. Take this example back to your restaurant or hotel and check if you have a manual where the principles of corporate culture that should govern the way your employees behave are written down.
Starting with Mission, Vision and Values. If you don’t have one, you should do something about it before it is too late. It is no coincidence that the catering and hospitality industries are challenging environments where people have to work under pressure and often under stressful conditions. Corporate culture plays a crucial role in ensuring that employees feel motivated, engaged and satisfied at work.
A strong corporate culture can help to:
- Attracting top talent: talented employees want to work for companies that care about their employees and have a balance between wanting to achieve company goals so that everyone can live a life worth living.
- Developing a positive company culture can mean attracting the best talent to the restaurant and hospitality industry. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you had talented chefs and waiters or highly skilled reception and concierge staff?
- Improve employee satisfaction: employees who feel valued and supported are more satisfied with their work. This can increase productivity and quality of work. Remember that you are a leader and the leader serves employees in the same way they serve customers.
- Reduce employee turnover: the restaurant and hospitality industry is notorious for its high employee turnover. A positive company culture can help retain employees and reduce the costs associated with training new employees.
- Improve the customer experience: remember that you are the leader and the leader serves employees in the same way that they serve customers. Satisfied employees will provide unique customer experiences.
How to develop a winning corporate culture
Developing an effective corporate culture takes time and effort, but the results can be outstanding. Here are some tips on how to develop a winning company culture in the restaurant and hospitality industry:
- Define the company’s mission, vision and values: The company’s mission, vision and values should be the basis of your company culture. Make sure you communicate them clearly to your present and future employees, only then will people be on the same side.
- Involve your employees in the creation of your company culture. Ask them what motivates them at work and what makes them happy. Ask them to suggest ideas on how to improve the company culture.
- Offer training and professional development to your employees show them that you care about their professional development. This can increase their motivation and job satisfaction. Don’t think as I did: what if I train them and then they leave? Service’ today is an ingredient in the success of a business: it is better to work with qualified staff than with staff with poor skills.
- Make sure your working environment is positive and inclusive. Create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable and can express themselves freely.
- Reward your employees for their hard work and achievements. This can increase their motivation and sense of achievement. Go beyond their expectations and they will do the same when serving your customers.
- Communicate clearly and regularly with your employees. Make sure that expectations are clear and that employees know where to turn for help or support. This is why it is an indispensable tool to draw up a corporate culture manual and an operations manual.
The Alajmo brothers’ company party
The Le Calandre restaurant in Rubano (Padua) has been one of the 12 Italian restaurants that can boast 3 Michelin stars since 2002. In reality Laura, Massimiliano and Raffaele Alajmo have taken over the business started by their parents in this restaurant to become a model company in Italy in the catering sector.
A company with 12 restaurants and over 250 employees that has developed thanks to an effective corporate culture. To thank all employees, the beating heart of their restaurants, they organised J-day 2023, a super party where they invested resources and time.
The question arises: why do successful entrepreneurs with little time for themselves and their families decide to organize a celebratory super party for all their employees?
Let’s take a guess:
- J Day is a way of thanking all the employees who are the beating heart of the 12 restaurants managed by the group. Without their strength and cooperation, they would probably have remained restaurant owners.
- J Day is one of the ways in which the Alajmo brothers strive to create an inclusive and attractive working environment for the present employees and those who will join the team in the future.
- The J Day is a clear way to communicate and regulate relationships with their employees, ensuring that the Company Culture remains something written down, but rather is transformed into something tangible.
Article written by Giancarlo De Leonardo, Former Restaurateur and Hotelier and Founder of carocollega.com