Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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8 4 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 WOW EMPLOYEES Sharing the example of her company's recent failure to bring a coveted QSR brand into its portfolio of franchised concepts, Dee Robinson focused FED Summit attendees' attention on the power of people and culture to create success and grow companies. The founder and president of Robinson Hill, a Chicago- based concessions management •rm that operates restaurants and retail stores in airports across the country, said that speci•c failure led her to take a hard look at her organization and focus on its employees and its culture. Robinson committed to tools and approaches such as the "six I's of happy employees" (inform, inspire, instruct, inspect, involve and incentivize) and monthly "people analyzer" reviews done both by and with man- agers. She focused on getting to know employees and their needs, designing programs to support them, and has since seen positive results. Employees have begun recruiting friends to work for the company, she said, turnover is down signi•cantly and sales are up 10 to 25 percent depending on location. "Getting the job done is also engaging the people who will get it done," Robinson said. "I want wow ex- periences for our customers and our team. By focusing on your team, by •nding out what matters most to them and programming to that, growth happens. "No one leaves a company because they received too much praise," said Robinson. "And praise is free." "It doesn't matter what brand decisions we make in the corporate o'ce if we don't have the right sta" to execute it." Laura Rea Dickey, CEO, Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants If you don't drive your company's culture, your managers will, said Dee Robinson of Robinson Hill. Either way, a culture emerges. The Chicago skyline made a perfect backdrop for social time.

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