A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way in the Restaurant Business

Good tidings and holiday cheer are in the air! It’s everywhere: from shift managers having an extra pep in their step, to guests smiling a little brighter as they share an amazing meal celebrating the holidays in your restaurant with friends and family.

All of this season’s niceties can be contagious. And with all the positivity in the air may come a realization: How can I make my brand ‘nicer’ this holiday season?

The celebratory and holiday-focused month of December presents a great opportunity for business owners and operational teams to explore the concept of positioning restaurant brands positively, and how such actions can benefit a restaurant or concept in the long run.

Here are some ideas to showcase brand positivity – and inspire guests and staff to follow suit.

Happy Employees = Happy Guests. With any restaurant & hospitality concept, a high percentage of annual financial gains may depend upon how busy business is through the holidays. But, it’s important to keep in mind that staff will want to take time off to celebrate with family and friends. Talk to employees to gage their individual wants and needs as far as working on and around holidays (i.e. some may want to work more to increase holiday earnings, while others may want time off to visit loved ones). Leverage work schedules with that insight to create a work on-off plan that suits staff and operations alike. It’s about being present and conscious of your business behind the scenes. The notion here: happy employees yield happy guests.

Spread Some Goodwill. Inspire guests and employees alike by showing the benevolent side of your business. Develop events and outreach programs that not only benefit charitable campaigns, but also welcome guest and staff participation. For example, make a note on specialized holiday menus that highlights select dishes, desserts or beverages, for which a portion of proceeds will be donated to a local soup kitchen or shelter service; or utilize social media outlets and in-store announcements to request that guests bring in new, unwrapped toys and books for holiday distribution to local school-aged children in need, and work with a local organization, like Toys for Tots.

Brand Stars. Recognizing staff and their professional successes will add a personal touch and appeal to your restaurant and your brand. Maybe it’s creating a bio section on the restaurant website or writing about your chef’s story of his/her rise to their position in the kitchen or perhaps even hosting a cocktail hour meet & greet with some of your most loyal customers and their invited guests to interact with staff. Whatever the avenue or means, welcoming guests and staff to socialize in a non-traditional way can take brand positivity to the next level!

*happiness served straight-up at Founding Farmers restaurant.