4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Culture

In part one, Top Ways Food Retailers are Retaining New Hires, we broke down employee retention and the importance of businesses investing in their employees through programs and automation software like Squadle’s products. In this article, we will learn to understand the benefits of a positive work culture in the QSR industry.

Positive Work Culture Makes a Difference

Considering the foodservice industry and the pressure that comes with it, the need for good leadership is imperative as managers are the ones who set the tone of the workplace. A positive work culture correlates with customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and high profit consistency.. But, why is it important to have an uplifting work environment, and what factors make a culture positive?

Work culture, in a nutshell, is the restaurant’s ecosystem that has the potential to foster a thriving environment. We spend ⅓ of our lives at work. Needless to say, people desire a positive workplace everyday because it increases job satisfaction and performance as it reduces stress. It not only benefits the employees but the business as a whole. According to Forbes, “A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, raises morale, increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances retention of the workforce.” 


Positive Work Culture Improves Employee Retention

Recruitment is no easy feat; it’s expensive, time consuming, and it disrupts productivity. 63.3% of companies report that it is more challenging to keep employees than hire them. An effective way to avoid job hoppers is to cultivate a positive workplace culture. 

The leadership within QSR can make or break the company culture. Their communication and actions are pivotal when it comes to how employees feel about their jobs, which can affect employee turnover rates. A whopping 69% of job seekers would reject a job offer from a company if they have a poor employer reputation. Therefore, when an employee decides to move on, leadership should leave them with something positive to say about the work culture because that will naturally attract more candidates. 

Factors that Create a Positive Restaurant Culture

People want to work in environments that are known for treating their staff well. Businesses can make a healthy workplace by investing in wellness programs, hosting team building events, participating in casual dress days, monthly lunches, or something as simple as having a stocked snack drawer or Friday pizza. Taco Bell, for instance, holds hiring parties where free food is provided along with on-site job applications and interviews, all on top of offering free meals for active employees.

Tweet featuring Taco Bell's Hiring Parties

In 2018 Glassdoor published the top places to work, In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks were among some of the top 100 contenders. In-N-Out Burger ranked #4 as it became a fast food chain restaurant where people want to work according to the employees. A level IV employee shared that In-N-Out is:

“…extremely flexible with scheduling, you work with similar personalities so everyone tends to get along, you move up quickly, you genuinely feel appreciated 9 times out 10, free meal every day that you work, great pay and excellent benefits for a rewarding job!”

So, what are the key factors that made restaurants like In-N-Out Burger and Chick-fil-A surpass their competition when it came to a positive company culture?

1. Open Lanes of Communication 

For those in positions of leadership, it is crucial that there is clear and honest communication between co-workers and management. Additionally, communicating clear expectations will set the company up for success. This allows folks to have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain feedback. Employees will feel heard and valued with a strong circuit of communication which will ultimately boost morale. 

2. Recognition and Growth Opportunities

Having a strong understanding between colleagues about respect and compassion for each other is another factor that goes into a positive work environment. It begins with recognition from upper management and coworkers. Demonstrating a level of appreciation for your employees shows that you acknowledge and appreciate their hard work. Another effective way to recognize your employees is to award employees with titles such as employee of the month, or most improved. Environments where there is room to grow professionally are most conducive to a successful business. Providing your employees with opportunities for growth and development helps to keep them engaged with their work. The bottom line is by increasing engagement, you can drive retention rates up. 

3. Work-Life Balance

In order to keep employees satisfied and engaged with their work without letting their job overtake other areas of life, leadership must allow for a work-life balance. There are many ways to promote a better work-life balance from an employer’s point of view, such as offering fair and flexible hours and/or encouraging breaks. The best way to find the ideal solution is to ask and listen to what your staff is telling you. 

Work/ Life scale
4. Holistic Recruitment Process

During the recruitment process, focus on hiring people who not only have the required skill set, but also share the same values as the company. The company should have a clear understanding of their own values and consider including them on their website or advertisements for job positions. Hiring managers should try and assess the candidate with questions regarding their capabilities and also their values. By doing this, you are fostering a positive culture and mitigating financial losses due to poor employee fit. This will help keep employees happy and decrease employee turnover. 

With these tips, making a positive work space where employees are excited to come to daily is not as daunting as it seems. Think about your current employees and who you wish to attract, and tailor an environment that will appeal to them. The key takeaway here is that happy employees are directly correlated to a successful business. Happy employees are engaged and loyal to the business.They execute the highest quality customer service and generate high productivity and profitability.