Creating a Culture

What is a culture?

A culture is a belief, understanding, and the emotional drive to become the best through core values, vision- and mission statements that drive a company. But having core values, vision- and mission statements only written down in handbooks or even on poster boards means nothing unless you follow through and enforce them. Once you have decided what you want your company to stand for, you can proceed to teach them.

I believe, simply, that there are only two ways to create a culture,


  • The easy way. When you open a new restaurant with fresh starts, new faces, and everyone is on the same level. No host, server, bartender, cook, or even manager is above another. In this situation, everyone pulls together and works as part of a team to satisfy the guests. Here you would need to work on maintaining and improving this culture


  • The hard way. Once a restaurant is open to the public for awhile the culture dynamics can change by way of staff leaving and new people being hired. Managers become busy with administration duties and everyone loses sight of what the core values are.

So why would anyone want to change and improve an existing culture? For two main reasons - to stop losing money and to start making money.

To start making money a restaurant would have to cut down on their turnover rate by creating a culture of teamwork, respect, appreciation and more. My belief is that "when managers take care of the staff, the staff will take care of the guests, and the guests will always come back." Many restaurants don't even try to change their culture because it's one of the hardest things a restaurant may have to do. Why?

  1. It takes time away from administration duties

  2. People are already set in their own ways of operating things

  3. Staff may have to be retrained and the new training procedure must be enforced

  4. It takes a lot of effort for managers to observe the staff and correct any bad habits and

  5. It is time-consuming

Just to name a few.

So, if you are thinking that you may have to change your existing culture, you would have to look over your vision- and mission statement and make sure that you believe in them and can easily follow them to enforce them. The second thing to do is to work in all of the positions you supervise to understand the needs of your staff, build a list of core values and then create the culture you envision.

Here are a few topics I will discuss in future posts to help you to create a foundation for a culture:

  1. Rules, regulations, and guidelines

  2. Hiring the right people

  3. Understanding your turnover

  4. Having the right training programs

  5. Caring is unity (teamwork)

  6. Teaching and leading by example

  7. Empowering and utilizing your staff

  8. Appreciation and respect between managers and staff alike

  9. Being available

  10. Communication

  11. Open-door policy and Exit reviews

For more information on this topic you can refer to ".....Break Bad Habits in Your Restaurant" under 'News & Events."

Next Post is about: Rules, Regulations, and Guidelines

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