Creating a Business Strategy for Building Success

Creating a Business Strategy for Building Success

22-Mar-2013
All businesses have a culture that either supports or detracts from the execution of their businesses strategy for building success. It happens either by design or by default. Which is yours?




We define culture as what happens in the absence of rules or direct supervision. It is critical to building a high-performance, hospitality business in that without a strong supportive culture, you can never accomplish your business goals or objectives. Which is why the #2 reason nearly 22% of all restaurants go out of business within their first year of operation. It’s a competency that most operators do not possess and why they need help in building a successful business.


It is most definitely a core trait/values/vision/purpose thing. It must be articulated (focus & context) from the top and balance every system, process, technology and business strategy across a foundation of highly effective people leadership.


There are six main elements:


  • Focus & Context – Provided by leadership. Answers the questions “Why are we here?” and “What do we do?” Can’t be just a poster on a wall or a page in your employee handbook. Often labeled as mission/values/ vision. The key isn’t necessarily to focus on defining the businesses specific values, vision or mission (although it’s a very good exercise and a critical process piece) but to define and focus on the behaviors that are necessary to execute the business strategy successfully.
  • Guest Centricity – All focus needs to be on the needs & expectations of the guest. Then work backwards to align those of employees and vendors.
  • Strategy/Direction – This is about process mapping. Making sure that every behavior in every model used is aligned with #1. (Service model, production model, etc… )
  • Measurement/Rewards – Voice-of-the-Guest (VoG) and Voice-of-the-Employee (VoE) efforts are critical tools here for filling gaps in execution and alignment. You must reward the behaviors you want to see more of.
  • Processes/Systems – Mapping every process and system to make sure you deliver value at every single touchpoint and that that value is aligned with your culture’s values and the businesses positioning.
  • Training/Coaching – Ongoing development and Coaching is critical to sustaining long term results for any culture, otherwise they atrophy.

In 30+ years of working with and surveying staff, guests and operators we have found culture commonalities among the most successful. The top two being…


  1. A strong identification with the guest and an overall orientation toward the guest experience.
  2. Passion for and pride in the experiences offered by the business.
Others include…


  • Openness to new ideas (applications) from staff, guests, community, vendors, etc…
  • A reverence and respect for talent and successful experiences
  • Teamwork across departments and areas of responsibility.
  • Open and transparent communications between all stakeholders.
  • The Benefits of A Strong Adaptive Culture


Research and experiential evidence shows that businesses that have a strong adaptive culture, that includes the six core elements we mentioned above, enjoy significant positive results including:


  1. Higher employee retention/lower turnover costs
  2. Much greater levels of profitability
  3. Higher rates of growth
  4. High levels of differentiation
  5. Greater sales
  6. Greater brand loyalty and brand equity
  7. Much lower costs across the board

Also, all of this is accomplished with little to no capital investment required in order to achieve significant ROI from a focus on culture design and execution.


It’s complex. It’s hard work. It’s deliberate. It’s not incremental, fast or easy.

To view the original article at Summers Hospitality Group, please click here.