Think GEM

Think GEM


Pitch perfect brand delivery

Pitch perfect brand delivery

Our Founding Director, Sally Whelan, discusses the importance of brand values and the techniques required to communicate them throughout your business.

The dissemination of brand values comes straight from the top, so it’s important that there is a clearly defined, embedded and coherent view set out to explain to the whole team what a brand stands for. Where a brand is muddled, the front of house team will find it difficult to grasp, and that will translate into lack of consistency on the ground.

It’s up to management to articulate a clear story of the brand. Explaining the “Why” or offering a mission statement that underpins your business is a good place to start, whether it’s: “Great quality, exciting family food at a reasonable price,” or: “Innovative and ethical food to delight and nourish.”

It’s also really important to make sure that the team don’t get mixed messages about how to behave with guests. Core essential behaviours and values will help everyone to stay on track.

The story behind and purpose of a brand needs to be communicated throughout the business, ideally in as experiential a way as possible. Senior team members should spend time on the ground, helping out with service to get a feel for how training translates practically and getting fresh ideas on how to ensure staff embody the values of the business. Anybody working front of house should be encouraged to try the food and discuss it with the chef and kitchen team so that they can develop their knowledge of the menu and passion for the food.

Aside from clear communication and a defined purpose, recruitment is key to ensure pitch-perfect brand delivery.  This is something that’s obviously easier once a brand is clearly defined, as strong brands will attract the right personalities. When you’re recruiting, selecting people who have a positive, passionate attitude and personality is the ideal – this is so much more important than experience. In our mystery guest feedback, similar words crop up time and again in the most glowing reviews: “Authentic,” “Warm,” and “Genuine” are a few that spring to mind.

Chains such as wagamama and Leon lead the field in excellent, authentic service, and guests score their visits consistently highly as a result.

Guests can tell when team members are proud to be there, when they’re enthusiastic about the food and the ethos behind the brand and confident enough to let their personality shine through. The recruitment process needs to be designed to help employers spot individuals who will live up to this. It’s a human exercise, so overly rigid entry requirements or any focus on box-ticking will be counter-productive - you may well miss the best people.

In days gone by, there was an overreliance on scripts and automated process. Stock words and phrases meant that service in some big chains felt impersonal and fake. Thankfully, most operators are moving away from this and giving their team more autonomy, encouraging expression and personality. But in order to do this successfully, the brand proposition (and team’s intuitive grasp of that) needs to be rock solid.

 

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