Does Your Restaurant Manager Fit Your Restaurant’s Culture?

With about 13 million people, the restaurant industry employs one of the largest workforces in the United States. And there’s an abundance of good talent out there. The key is finding the right person for your restaurant management position – and that means securing a good cultural fit.

Start by Defining Your Culture

Your culture is a sum total of the attitudes, mindsets and values that create a sense of belonging for your employees. Without a cultural comfort level, they simply will not thrive – or possibly even survive – for the long term.

Companies with the strongest employment brands have the power to connect with and attract loyal candidates. The key to defining your brand is determining what makes your restaurant unique as a place of employment.

  • Employment branding is a targeted, long-term strategy to manage the perceptions of employees and potential hires. It drives recruitment, retention, and performance and productivity measurement.
  • Branding works by consistently putting forth an image surrounding management and business practices that labels your restaurant as an attractive “good place to work.”
  • If successful, employment branding enhances the number of quality of applicants and significantly reduces turnover, especially among top performers.

Use Tactics that Have Worked for You

When seeking out talent for the right job/cultural balance, rely on the sources that have proven effective in past hiring experiences.

  • Turn to professional contacts, references, agencies, and social media platforms. Track prior results and activate the best ones.
  • Your current employees are your best ambassadors. They know others in the business and more importantly, they have an intimate knowledge and understanding of your culture. Top-performing employees will be anxious to refer others who reflect positively on the person who recommended them. This also pays off when it comes to onboarding your new manager in terms of “friends helping friends” to learn the ropes.

Interview for Cultural Fit

Whether yours is a fast-food franchise or a five-star hotel-based restaurant, you want to hire a superstar who brings your management position and their team to life. Determine whether this is the case as you get to know candidates during the interview process.

  • Through the questions you ask, get a clear picture of candidates’ cultural expectations. Do their values and vision align with those of your establishment? Pay attention to any red flags that arise.
  • Consider a “trial shift” as part of your hiring process. This will help you confirm not only professional skillset, but whether or not a cultural connection is forming. Afterwards, speak with others who worked with the candidate and get their feedback.

Investing resources into defining and hiring to enhance your restaurant culture will pay off in the long run. Of 18 companies that have ranked at or near the top of their markets for the past 50 years, all have this in common: They place a high priority on hiring and managing their workforce based on clear cultural principles and beliefs.

Contact the hospitality recruitment experts at Horizon Hospitality to learn more about building your restaurant team for future success.


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