How Mission Statements Can Emphasize Careers


After more than two years of the pandemic and all the myriad adjustments and creativity employed by operators to survive, the hospitality industry appears both adaptable and resilient, but also crippled and in need of fundamental change. Owners are beginning to accept a new reality where staffing will continue to be one of their biggest challenges, and retaining talented managers and employees is critical to their success. The industry can, and must, renew its vision of the future in order to create teams that are motivated, inspired and truly in tune with the “why” of the work they do. Without this deeper connection, staff turnover will only thwart success.

For restaurateurs and managers who want to not only inspire their teams, but also find their own footing in what can be a tumultuous career, understanding that the “why” can be a game-changer. Once that deeper purpose is determined, learning to communicate those principles quickly and effectively through a series of brief mission statements or mantras can serve as powerful reminders of the moment.

“It’s so much easier to follow a plan, action or directive when you understand its purpose,” said Scott Ota, co-founder of Second Growth, a new wine bar and retail store set to open. in winter 2022. in San Antonio, Texas. “And in some ways, a good catchphrase or sound bite that captures that goal can motivate a team and provide guidance. However, mantras cannot and should not be empty words. These sayings should communicate your values ​​and be easy to understand and should be followed by appropriate values ​​training and practice.

The restaurant world is full of oft-used mantras – things like “do it right” or “work clean” or “the customer is always right” – which are thrown around to focus staff on the essentials while they But for many of today’s top beverage managers, they’ve moved on to more personal, inspirational expressions drawn from introspection and years on the floor.

Aaron_Wood-Snyderman.jpg“‘My first and foremost mantra is ‘make people happy,'” said Aaron Wood-Snyderman, director of wine at Metropolitan Grill in Seattle. “Years ago, at another restaurant that was my first gastronomic job, I was complaining about something relatively trivial. My wife said to me, ‘Do you remember that restaurant where we ate in Rome during our honeymoon? Of course you do. And you work in a place like that now, and you’re a part of people’s memory. My wife has never worked a day in the restaurant industry, and yet she said the most fundamental thing anyone has ever said to me. So think about your vision. What do you want to accomplish? And how do you do it for yourself, your colleagues and your employees ?”

Any operator or management team should take the time to create a list of core values, solicit feedback from all team members, and ask tough questions. Why do we do what we do? How is this organization unique? Why did I choose to be part of this team? What kind of culture are we trying to foster among our staff?

Tim_Parkhouse_1.jpg“It really depends on the culture of each operation. However, there are a few important factors to consider when determining mission statements – things like vision, goals, values, target customers and service execution,” said Tim Parkhouse, Director wine at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California. keep in mind that the internal aspect of an operation is often overlooked in mission statements and mantras. Due to the pandemic, everyone is understaffed and treating employees well is more important than ever. The dishwasher should absolutely be given the same respect as the general manager. And the competition among top restaurants and clubs for those with a genuine passion for the industry, and who are here by choice, is tougher than ever. Essentially, it all comes down to respecting each member of your team. When developing your establishment’s mantras and mission statements, consider putting employees first. Be the beacon showing a newer, more diverse and more empathetic face of the post-pandemic industry. There is a direct correlation between happy employees and happy customers.

In addition to the overall vision of the organization which must be clearly defined and communicated, it is also essential that team members, and especially those in leadership positions, take the time to assess their own reasons. to do the job.


“Everyone comes to their own personal mantras, but for me I think it’s important not to get too overwhelmed by the preciousness of this product or put on my blinders when it comes to good wine and the industry. wine,” said Molly Brooks. , wine buyer and event director at Meritage Wine Market in San Diego. “I have to remember that ‘wine is my passion and my job, but in the end it’s just wine.’ It’s important for my team and I to feel comfortable exploring and investigating wine and admitting that we don’t know the answer.

It’s a fact that the restaurant and hospitality industry must evolve if it is to continue to attract top talent, and those who articulate their vision of what that future will look like are leading the charge.

“My goal is to make this industry more inclusive and fairer for anyone who wants food and drink to become their profession,” Scott Ota said. “We need to remove barriers to entry for those who want to serve others, and we need to provide a living wage to create work-life balance. Hospitality is about being “other-centered” and I hope I work and live with values-driven actions that support this goal. My personal mantra is ‘Be humble, be hospitable, drink well and have fun! High tides lift all ships, and we’re best when we do it together.

David Flaherty has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. He is a Certified Wine Specialist, Certified Cicerone, and former Operations Manager and Director of Beer and Spirits for Hearth Restaurant and Terroir Wine Bars in New York City. He is currently marketing director for the Washington State Wine Commission and writes about wine, beer and spirits in his blog, Grapes and cereals.


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