Director of People and Culture

The Bartolotta Restaurants

Opportunity added 03/08/2021

People and Culture Directors working in restaurants focus on creating a work experience that enhances recruitment, motivation, and retention. They ensure the right people are in the right jobs and that they perform effectively. Successful restaurant people and culture leaders must have a combination of the right education, job skills, and experience.


Linking People and Culture to Strategy

Linking people to culture means making sure the right people are in the right jobs, now and in the future. It also means they have the skills to perform competently and confidently. Done right, this is the strategy that attracts the right people and motivates them to stay with the organization.  Bartolotta Restaurants is a family business, with family values and an eye on the future. In the restaurant business, we’re only as good as our last meal: meaning we have to be focused and consistent. And we’re only as good as our people: meaning we have to focus on employee satisfaction so that they can ensure customer satisfaction. People and Culture makes that happen.


Designing and Deploying Strategic Recruiting

We have systems in place to source and capture applicants – that’s a relatively straightforward process. But considering which of them to hire takes training and skill and judgment. Our People and Culture department sets the standards and trains hiring managers to know how to spot the best applicants and make sure the right ones join our organization.  We’re only as good as the meals we prepare and the people that serve them – that’s why this is such a big part of our People and Culture processes. Establishing employment branding, creating the right messaging, and onboarding for success are all practices that People and Culture develops and trains hiring managers to use.  We know there’s only one chance to make a good first impression, and that is part of People and Culture.


Linking Training to Skills

Hiring for attitude is half the challenge – training for skills makes sure our employees are the best. People and Culture designs and manages the orientation process – from learning about the company to understanding their business unit, orientation is an end-to-end process that sets the new employee up for success. Next comes job training – the what, why, and how to perform to our expectations. These training guides are developed by People and Culture in partnership with our hiring managers (our subject matter experts). Then People and Culture trains our managers and supervisors to conduct the training and create a measured coaching process to ensure new employees have the tools to succeed.


Measuring Performance

We know about the need (and importance) to “inspect what you expect”.  That means performance standards have to be well understood by employees and their supervisors, supervisors have to provide continuous feedback and coaching to allow employees to practice and perform, and all of this occurs in an environment of trust, respect, and continuous learning. Feedback and communications are the keys to performance excellence, and People and Culture build those capacities in our organization.  These and all the other soft skills are essential management tools that we train to our leaders so that employees feel and know that we care about their success.


Linking Recognition and Rewards to Strategy

We know what we value and are not too shy to talk about it. Our organization understands the benefits of “catching employees doing things right” – reinforcing the behaviors we think are important. We also understand the need to provide continuous feedback so that there are no misunderstandings or surprises. It’s all designed to promote value and innovation, collaboration, teamwork, excellence, and employee satisfaction. This is where People and Culture shines brightest – we want to be an employer of choice, and that only happens when these things are happening well in our organization.


Providing Solutions

Restaurant, hospitality, and food and beverage leaders need creativity and problem-solving skills. That means not only having the right training for our leaders, but an environment where they are encouraged to make decisions and find solutions. This is a people business, and we need the best people in leadership positions who are all doing great work. Our leaders also need superior abilities to create attractive workplace environments and have the interpersonal skills to maintain professional relations with employees and colleagues. They are leaders to whom the organization can and must turn to for solutions. People and Culture creates the learning framework for this to happen.


Ensuring Alignment

The best companies are those that make sure strategy and operations are supported by everyone, working off the same menu of goals, tactics, performance standards, and work environment. People and Culture are in the middle of making that happen. They have to know all the players, needs, hopes, and expectations. With that knowledge and authority, they manage these processes, train others to use them, and monitor their utilization. In essence, they make sure it runs right.


Managing our Culture

Our restaurant company is built on passion and pride, and that feeling cascades from our Owner’s family throughout the organization to each of our employees. Everyone has to know, be inspired by, and live our Company’s values.  The People and Culture Director plays a key role in this: they are the link between senior leadership and our employees, and ensure that our culture is alive in everything we do. Customers can get a meal anywhere; our goal is to nourish them and their lives: this role is the steward of that passion. To us, this is more than a job and we’re looking for someone that thinks so too.


Leave the Rest Up to HR

Focusing on crafting our culture and nourishing our employees’ growth will be your primary focus, which is why we’ll leave some of the other stuff up to our Human Resources team – like managing foundational HR, creating policy, overseeing compliance, assisting in new hire onboarding, addressing employee relations and disciplinary matters, and assisting with workforce management.


Becoming a People and Culture Leader

Having a bachelor’s degree and or a certification in Human Resources, Organizational Development, or related field is essential for a People and Culture leader in our company. Experience in a hospitality organization, a proven record of leadership with demonstrated accomplishment, excellent communications skills, and a love of hands-on engagement in the people and culture world are the things we’ll look for in our People and Culture Director. At Bartolotta Restaurants, we believe in setting up our employees for success and investing in their development so they can operate at their best, drive results, and grow with the company.

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