At Better Chains, we spend a lot of time talking about restaurant technology: how technology will help you, how technology will help your team, and how technology will ultimately help your customers. We recognize though that the technology is only just one part of your business’s overall plan to acquire and satisfy new and returning customers alike. The technology is what empowers you to work efficiently, intelligently, and safely, but it’s ultimately up to you and your team to deliver a fantastic experience to your guests.
I saw this post from Foodable, “How to Get Your Employees to Jump on the ‘Brand Wagon’”, in my feed the other day and it got me thinking. As a restaurant manager or owner, you understand the importance of your restaurant’s brand. You have a company logo, a well-defined and unique brand look and messaging, and you probably have a number of marketing initiatives in place to share your restaurant’s mission and voice (and business information).
But do you ever consider what role your employees play when it comes to your brand? FOH and BOH, management and owners—all of you represent the company. When a customer interacts with one of you, they’re interacting with your restaurant brand. So how do you ensure all of your customers receive a positive and consistent experience regardless of which member of your “brand wagon” they interact with?
As you know, customer loyalty is very important to your business, so if you haven’t done so already, you need to consider the following tips mentioned in the Foodable article:
- Brand recruitment. If your goal is for customers to receive a consistent and positively memorable dining experience, it’s crucial to hire for the employee you want, not the one you need at this very moment. This means making sure your new hires align well with your company goals and fit in with your brand’s identity and mission.
- Brand awareness. There is a lot that you need to train your employees on: company policies, job requirements, your menu, guest interaction best practices, safety standards, and more. Additionally, there should be extensive training on your brand, which should include info on company values, your mission, and everything else an employee needs to know how to serve as a brand representative.
- Brand engagement. For management and owners that can’t always be present at each site, it’s important for team members to be able to put a face to your name. You believe in your brand and you live your brand every day and through every interaction. Although they may not be able to meet you in person, recorded videos and personalized messages can help employees see first-hand what the brand means to you so they can translate it into their own practice.
- Brand reinforcement. You hire someone based on a best-fit with your brand and then you train that person on everything surrounding your brand. But it shouldn’t end there. Like with any other part of your employees’ education, the learning process should never stop—and the same holds true for reinforcing your brand’s mission, messaging, and initiatives on a regular basis.
There are many other interesting tips and insights made in this article and I would urge you to read them when you have the time. For now, remember this: your brand is everything. Without the promise of that consistent experience, positive service, and trustworthy team, you can’t really expect customer loyalty in exchange.
As I said in the beginning, we talk a lot about restaurant technology—because we know it works. I can’t help but look at this article and think about how many ways there are for restaurants to achieve these brand-centric goals. Whether it be through digital forms that ask the right questions, a more stringent applicant tracking system, or online training forms that make employee education easier, I think there are many tools available to restaurant operators that can make this “brand wagon” an achievable goal and, ultimately, a reality.
If you’ve already got a solid grip on your restaurant brand and wonder if there is more you can do to empower your team to better align with it, let’s chat.