What are Your Company's Core Values?

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What are Core Values?

Core values are our deepest and most closely held personal beliefs that make us who we are. 

Most people have a set of personal core values (even if they don’t realize it) that determine guidelines for behavior, which helps shape how the world perceives them. 

But developing core values for your brand is also important - not to mention a great business strategy!

Ideally, core values should be defined from the outset of your business. But if you haven’t, the beginning of a new year is a great time to start. 

Why are Core Values Important for My Business?

Your company’s core values serve many functions; namely, communicating who you are to the world (which helps build brand affinity) and giving your employees buy-in, or a sense of being invested in the larger scope of the company.

Core values can be incorporated throughout many areas of your company, including:

  • Interview: Find candidates whose values are in line with your company’s.
  • Onboarding/Training: If your team understands behavioral standards from the moment they walk in the door, there’s less room for ambiguity. Core values set expectations and provide employees with a mental checklist to review before making a decision or reacting to a situation.
  • Education/Learning Management: Provide refresher courses tied to your core values as part of company-sponsored continuing education services. Consider adding a section in the employee contract that communicates part of annual reviews will be based on how an employee represents the core values of your company.
  • Service: Post your core values where your team will see them every day. They can refer back your core values as guidelines when faced with a challenge. 
  • Discipline: It’s a lot easier to refer to a transgression in humanized terms as opposed to an arbitrary, numerical rule buried in the handbook.

How do I Define My Company's Core Values?

While determining your core values may seem like an internal activity, or not a priority at all, it can actually have far-reaching impact on your company as a whole, from staff to strategy.

Before defining your core values, practice some mindful activities and brainstorming to help you get started.

First, answer these questions:

  • What are 5 things that make your business unique?
  • What are 5 things that make your business competitive?
  • What are 5 ways your business can work through from a negative experience?
  • What are 5 ways to that you can drive your business forward?

Next, here are some tips for determining your company’s core values:

  • Keep your list of core values strong, but short - usually 5 is a good number (choose more than 10 and some may be forgotten). 
  • Consider coming up with a creative acronym for easy recall amongst your team.
  • Always be reevaluating! Times change, brands change, and people change. Don’t be afraid to reword a core value or ditch it altogether in place of a new one. Maybe one of your values is providing the best ingredients at all cost - but you’re trying to be more sustainable. It’s ok to switch it up. Your team and clientele will appreciate your transparency and openness to change.
  • Incorporate your core values so they seep into every aspect of your business, from the interview process to displaying them prominently in your place of business. This will not only keep everyone accountable, but help you to build brand affinity in your community.
  • Involve your team in choosing or reevaluating your core values. Your people are the face of your company and should represent the embodiment of your company values and culture.

Below is an example of what 5 core values might look like for a restaurant:

  • Raise the Bar: There’s no such thing as unreasonably high standards. Deliver the highest quality in everything you do. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Own It: Treat your role like a business, and the whole team wins.
  • Think Green: We can’t solve food waste - but we can be stewards of the environment by practicing sustainability. 
  • Frugality First: Always strive to do more with less. Find creative and cost-effective ways to get the job done.
  • Be Family-Focused: We’re a work family. We also have families. Supporting others makes us stronger.

Product & Feature Updates: January 2018

Happy New Year! We’re ringing in 2018 with brand new product and feature updates.

If you're a current client, these enhancements may affect your account. Check out the highlights below, and be sure to visit our Support Page, which details each new release and provides step-by-step instructions on how to use them. 

Please check in with all appropriate members of your team to ensure you're implementing the updates that will best serve your business. 

Captcha

With the use of data and technology trending up, we wanted to provide our clients with an extra level of security in the new year.

Effective Monday, January 15, we're adding an extra level of security to the login process through a captcha. A captcha is a program or system intended to distinguish human input from machine input, typically as a way of thwarting spam and automated extraction of data from websites.

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The captcha will be prompted after 3 failed logins or when suspicious activity is detected.

This technology, powered by Google, requires that the google.com domain be whitelisted (if you’re concerned about this, please contact your IT department).

Visit our Support Page to learn more. 

Reporting Time/Call-In Pay

Have you ever had an employee report in to work for a shift, only to determine they’re not needed and have to be sent home? Hey, it happens - and this new tool allows employers to easily manage this process by automatically calculating pay that employees are entitled to for being sent home before the conclusion of their scheduled shift.

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We’ve built this so employers can easily select their preferred rule for the Reporting Time based on the state rule their brand is based in, where it only applies for scheduled shifts.

Visit our Support Page to learn more.

Employee Pooling

As labor costs become less flexible, we're here to help. Employee Pooling* is a new feature that assists in streamlining multi-unit scheduling as well as time and attendance.

Employees of multi-unit groups can clock into Harri’s TeamHub app at ANY location within the group. Their wage costs will be recorded at the unit they've clocked into, regardless of whether it's their home location. Overtime & spread-of-hours calculations are accurately calculated on a cross-location basis.

This smart and flexible technology especially helps multi-unit operators manage their employees more effectively, maximize productivity, and lower labor costs.

*This feature can be easily activated upon request by a Customer Success Manager.

 

How to Set Goals for Your Restaurant in 2018

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In the restaurant and hospitality industries, the never-ending daily grind can make planning beyond basic needs and operational duties feel impossible. Big picture goal-setting often takes a backseat, but it’s crucial to the future success of your business.

Most businesses create money-centric goals, such as ‘make $X each quarter’ or ‘grow revenue by X% year over year.’ However, setting smaller and more specific goals around finances as well as other components of your business can help you stay on track, measure success, and keep standards high.

Keep reading for quick tips on how to set goals for your business this year!

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • S = Specific. Your goal should be clear, otherwise you’ll lose focus. First, try to answer the ‘who, what, where, why’ of your goal.

  • M = Measurable. Tracking progress is key to staying motivated and correcting for issues.

  • A = Achievable. Your goals shouldn’t be impossible, but they should stretch your capabilities!

  • R = Relevant. Focus on how your goal ladders up to broader goals of the business.

  • T = Time-Bound. Setting a target completion date will help you stick to a deadline. (Pro tip: If you’re setting a long-term goal, determine a halfway point to track your progress.) 

Stay Focused on 5 Key Areas

  1. Service: Customers may forgive a minor food-related mistake, but they’ll likely never forget how they were treated at your establishment. With the rapid rise of customizable dining experiences in 2018, try to center your service goal around creatively providing people with the best possible experience. This not only ensures return customers, but people who will enthusiastically recommend your establishment to others (this is important, as 80% of people trust recommendations from their family and friends)!

  2. Food: It goes without saying that focusing on the quality of food should always be top priority in this particular area. After that, consider tapping into the year’s biggest trends. Whether it’s adding new items to the menu, sourcing locally, hosting a theme night, or committing to a food waste reduction plan, don’t be afraid to think bigger than previous years.

  3. Marketing: Challenge yourself to think beyond your day-to-day duties and set a marketing strategy for the year. Set a few tasks you want to accomplish each week. Examples could be setting up a social media account for your brand and posting an update every day, figuring out how to automate email campaigns, and (most importantly), tracking results in order to optimize or pivot your strategy during the next planning session.

  4. Employees: Remember how exceptional service should be your top focus? A solid team will ensure that goal is successful. This year, commit to providing your employees with the resources they need to succeed. Some examples are creating an ‘Employee of the Month’ award, scheduling weekly or monthly touch-base meetings with each individual team member or team, investing in e-learning software, or implementing an intelligent clock-in system (pssst...we know a great one) that seamlessly collects data from employees while empowering them to feel invested in larger business goals.

  5. Finances: Everyone wants to set target monetary goals and grow their revenues each year - but the financial temperature of the hospitality industry changes so often that it’s often difficult to measure what’s truly impacting your bottom line. The most important thing you can do is to set specific goals with a timeframe attached. After the time has passed, if you hit your numbers - see what worked. If you didn’t - reevaluate. 

Goal-setting doesn't have to be another daunting, menial task to add to your to-do list. Done correctly, it should leave you excited and energized for the year ahead.

If you make one resolution this year, commit to carving out time - even 1 hour - to think creatively and strategically about your business in 2018. You may be surprised at what you come up with!  

The Top Hospitality Industry Trends of 2018

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We may only be a week into 2018, but trends in the hospitality industry have been emerging since last year. Which will stay relevant in the new year, and which will fizzle out? Only time will tell!

In the meantime, check out some of the hottest topics and biggest trends set to take center stage in 2018.

Hotels Go High-Tech

With the advent of Airbnb and other home-sharing options, hotels are competing in a crowded space. In 2018, customization will be key. Experience-based hotels that incorporate technology are on the rise, allowing guests to customize their experience to be as much like home as they’d like (or not!)

‘Smart’ hotels will be huge in 2018, allowing guests to use personal tablets to control everything from room temperature to food service orders. Smart hotels will also employ automated technology, such as blinds that open and close depending on the position of the sun, walls that ensure optimal room temperature, and furniture that acts as a power source for guests who desire 24/7 connection. And expect to see more streaming services offered, such as Netflix and Amazon.

Hotel designs will change, too: gone are the days of the cookie cutter room. Hotel guests in 2018 may be delighted to find unique touches that remind them of home, with kitchenettes, diverse wall treatments, fabrics, textures, and furniture on the rise.

Lobbies will also see design upgrades, moving away from the standard check-in counter to more hospitable sofas with iPads (perhaps even freeing up guests to sip a beverage as they wait).

Finally, health-conscious upgrades like gyms, spas, retreat areas, and air/water purification systems will explode in 2018.

The bottom line is this: to grow and thrive as digital platforms, big hotel chains are moving away from the hotel owner model and towards investment in branding, marketing, and tech-related functions in 2018.

Fighting Food Waste and Going Green

Energy conservation and sustainability are hot topics across many industries, so it’s no surprise that the hospitality industry has decided to focus its 2018 efforts in this area.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that the dollar amount of food waste (excluding fish & seafood) is $750B annually. Therefore, finding creative ways to reduce waste through food consumption is key. In 2018, this could mean using less-than-perfect fruit to make juice, or snack bars made from spent grain in the beer-making process. It could also apply to ‘nose-to-tail’ cooking, which many restaurants are adopting, meaning they find use for ALL parts of an animal in the meal preparation process.

Finally, expect to see more eco-friendly practices pop up in more hotels and restaurants, as establishments employ the use of natural light, solar panels, recycled wood, organic materials, locally handcrafted items, and repurposed furniture.

Data Will Drive Businesses to New Levels

The hospitality industry has seen a steady adoption of data-mining for years, but 2018 will be a turning point as to how they use it. Data will impact every area of operations, from marketing to menu suggestions to purchasing to production.

Restaurateurs and hoteliers alike will use data primarily in order to achieve a level of personalization that sets them apart. Employers who are able to capture customer data at multiple points throughout their journey in 2018 will be better prepared to pivot their strategy and plan for the future of their business.

Using data to determine a core customer profile will be key to gaining traction in 2018. Once employers know who their core customer profile is, they can better market to them, which will be a core piece of restaurant strategy this year.

One tactic you can expect to see more of is tapping into a micro-influencer network: people in a community with a few thousand to 10K followers on social media who can assist in evangelizing a brand (after all, 80% of people trust a recommendation from a friend or family member!) Another popular tactic will be geo-targeting, in which ads are served up to target demographics by location, which leads to higher engagement and a better return on investment.

Brands will also make the move to cloud-based systems in their workspace to capture employee data and tap into their workforce. For example, Harri’s biometric time clock enables employees to leave feedback upon clocking out. This type of data-mining from the “front lines” of a business is invaluable in determining how customers are receiving things like menu changes, specials, business hours, and more.

Across the Pond

We’re a global company, so we stay up-to-date on hospitality happenings across the world - and right now, everyone is talking about Brexit. Many factors are contributing to the potential restaurant disaster due to Brexit: qualified staff are too many years away, quality ingredients are becoming too expensive, and high-ranking employees are stepping away from brands. The establishments that want to survive will have to stay on top of trends and innovate. The risk of closure is currently very high: as many as 20% of restaurants in the U.K. could close due to Brexit.

So, let’s talk 2018 trends that can remedy this issue. Lunchtime visits in the U.K. were down 80M in 2017, while breakfast spend increased 31% compared to 8 years ago. Therefore, expect a breakfast revolution! Street food will also continue to revolutionize city centers, with more than 2.5M people eating it every day. Events welcoming and promoting street food vendors will also be on the rise - like London’s Camden Market and the British Street Food Awards.

Similar to the U.S., healthier eating will see an uptick with ‘Veganuary’ (in which people commit to eating a Vegan diet during the month of January) and the rising popularity of local produce. Finally, of course, ‘Instagrammable’ foods (a.k.a. the colorful blue lattes and purple cheesecake you see on your Instagram feed) will continue to be popular in the new year. 

What are your predictions for the new year?