Nurture your staff to become brand ambassadors
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
People love to express themselves, and one of the many ways of doing so is through the things they buy. From the clothes they wear to the food they eat, people assign deep meaning to the brands they love because they help them form their identities.
Well, this applies to restaurant industries too.
How well you place not only your brand but also your staff.
Let them speak for your brand!
Understanding this concept is the key to a successful business model. Your brand sells more than just a product— it sells meaning. Building a community around this meaning attracts more customers, and there is no better way to begin building that community than through a brand ambassador program.
So how do you nurture your staff to become brand ambassadors?
Start with hiring. Communicate your brand’s identity at every stage of the process and ask yourself (and your prospects) if their personality and preferences align. Pick employees who understand and embody your USPs.
Then give them lots of reasons to love you. They should feel valued and empowered so they can make genuine recommendations and provide heartfelt service. Some ways to do this are by providing:
Fair wages: Do a competitive analysis to see what other restaurants in your area are offering for similar roles. This may mean going above minimum wage for certain roles or distributing tip pools in a more inclusive way.
Proper onboarding: The best onboarding programs contain four key ingredients– compliance (the rules), clarification (their responsibilities and how they fit into the bigger picture), culture (here’s where your brand values fit in), and connection (you want your employees to be friends, trust us).
Education: Have any special processes for sourcing ingredients or preparing food? Make sure every employee is trained in what this is, even if their job doesn’t touch the process directly– it’s part of your story and they should be able to educate customers.
Respectful management: Beyond the obvious of providing a safe place of employment, respectful management extends to areas like scheduling. Offer advance notice of schedules (what’s required by law or more), have time off request process, and create a fair solution for holiday shifts– there are many ways you can show your staff respect.
A real interest in providing a positive workplace: Live your brand values in every decision you make at your restaurant. But also consider creating a process to collect their feedback and suggestions AND make a real effort to use that input.
Foster this kind of atmosphere and your employees will extend the same courtesy and care to your customers.