Speaking at the Arena Summer Event at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London, Ed's Easy Diner chief executive Andrew Guy stressed how important a focus on people is to the ongoing success and growth of his business.
The Caterer has distilled those thoughts down to five key points about how to hire, train, develop and motivate people, according to the leader of one of this country's fastest growing casual dining brands:
1) "Talent is all around you at every level and it is your job to identify and develop it. Talent does not only apply to those for whom promotion beckons. You wanted talented waiters, cooks and dishwashing guys. That is what we look for. Their talent alone is not enough. We know that it needs to be accompanied by the willingness to work and to grow personally."
2) "If an internal candidate for promotion looks 50% right then give them the job. In an overwhelming number of cases they will quickly grow the other half. When deciding between internal and external candidates for a role, remember this: Your internal candidate is known to you - their strengths and weaknesses. They have been under the microscope. When you look through a microscope you see bugs. Not at all like the shiny polished candidate with all the answers sitting in the interview."
3) "Ed's is in fact a theatre set, where the staff are the actors and our customers are the audience. And to achieve what we want we have to continuously remember that actually we are not in the restaurant business, we are in the entertainment business."
4) "We hire smiles. One thing we don't require is any hospitality experience. In fact, we don't really need any work experience at all. What we are looking for is a positive, upbeat attitude, a determination to get ahead, and if you have that our training will take care of the rest. We are looking for evidence of doing something other than being in education."
5) "In any growing organisation, creating and leading successful teams is the only way to guarantee success. And there is only one way to create a successful team and that is by hiring the right people. It is the leader's role to get talented individuals to work as a team, to get shared goals and an agreed common purpose and to set the tone of the enterprise and ensure the continuity and the culture. In short, for good or bad, every manager at every level ends up with the team that he or she deserves. Great people challenge you and they challenge themselves. They get on with running the business. Frankly the reason I have done all of this is purely a selfish one - it makes life easier if you employ great people. They are often not easy to manage but high achievers are not a threat, they are an opportunity."