How to start a successful food business in 2021: The 4 C Strategy

Step 3 of the 4C Strategy is: Culture

Company culture is important in all businesses because it helps to define the core values and direction of the business. It also creates a sense of cohesion amongst employees and ensures that everybody is on the same page.

In a restaurant, a strong culture increases your chances of standing the test of time.

Here are 3 Critical Factors that will Determine a Successful Culture for Your Restaurant Business:

1. Set the standard with core values

What are Core Values?

The core values of your restaurant business define the things that are most important to you, and this dictates how you run the business and how you expect your employees to work and behave.

How do I choose the core values for my food business?

Think about where your passion comes from and what drives you and this will help you work out what your core values are. For example, are you passionate about creating innovative food using the freshest ingredients? Are you focused on building a space where communities can come together? Is it important that your team feels like a family and everybody supports one another?

Draw up a list of personal values and things that you feel are important in your restaurant business. Then, you should consider these values and try to cut the list down to the things that are most important to you. These values will give you direction and help with planning menus, designing your brand, and managing your team. It’s important that you communicate your core values clearly to your employees and make sure that everything you do is in line with that culture.

Clearly Defined Values Make for a Solid Brand

When you start running your restaurant business based on a set of clearly defined values, you give it a distinct personality and brand. Consumers know exactly what your restaurant is and what it’s about, and that clarity is the key to longevity in this business. Restaurants that don’t have a clear theme and brand often lack character and struggle to determine who their target audience is, and this soon leads to problems.

2. Effective management and leadership

Effective management and leadership are the cornerstones of a successful restaurant business. Hiring the right managers and understanding how to effectively delegate to them will ensure that the whole operation runs smoothly. 

Hiring the best food management and restaurant leaders

During the hiring process, it is important to look at skills and experience, but consider your company culture too. Communicate your core values to candidates and look for people that share in your vision.

Management teams that are equally passionate about your ideals will always be on the same page and your entire team will be working towards the same end goal. But when you work with people that do not share in your core values, the business is pulled in multiple directions and it becomes much harder to realize your vision.

Clearly Defined Roles and Job Descriptions Make for a Solid Concept

It is also important that you clearly define leadership roles within your business. Confusion about who they should take direction from and who makes certain decisions can have a knock-on effect on efficiency. It’s important that you consider what your own role in the business will be.

Being able to recognize people’s strengths and place them in areas where they will thrive will improve overall efficiency and create a better level of service for your customers.

For example, will you allow the chef to have a lot of freedom when designing new menu ideas or do you want to be closely involved? Establishing a clear management structure from the beginning will eliminate any confusion and ensure that every member of staff knows exactly what is expected of them.


Good leadership and management also facilitates growth and knowing that you have a team you can rely on as the business expands is so valuable.

3. Training and education

Continued training is one of the most effective ways to make sure that your team is thriving, that they are constantly inspired by your brand, and that they are providing the best possible service to customers.

Steps Of Service

The basic steps of service outline the journey that a customer goes on from arriving at the restaurant to paying their check and leaving. They include: meet, greet seat; table approach; 2 minute drink drop; order taking; food delivery; clean, clear and check; guest departure.

While the general steps of service all include similar points, they vary precisely depending on your concept and style of service. Once you have established a clear set of steps specific to your restaurant, all servers and staff must be well-versed so the customer experience is always efficient and consistent.

Standard Operating Procedures

By its nature, the restaurant industry is often disorganized and lacks structure. Standard operating procedures are there to introduce as much structure as possible and create consistency.

Food handling procedures are among the most important and include things like recipes and food preparation procedures, processes for presentation of dishes, and storage of food. Standard operating procedures for food improve safety and maintain quality.

You also need to introduce standard procedures for service. Specific timings for seating customers and taking orders, and how you take payments are all important here. You also need a clear process in place for managing any customer complaints.

Programs To Encourage Internal Growth And Education

Investing in your employees and your company culture is the best way to improve your restaurant business from the inside out.

Providing additional training programs like hospitality qualifications and even trips to learn more about your menu ingredients or culture can help to improve service. Management training and programs designed to develop soft skills like communication and teamwork are also very valuable.

Create a culture that is focused on investing in employees' passions and helping them to continually develop their core values and technical skills. Your food business will thrive as a result.

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