Mark's thoughts on the foodservice industry:
In the service industry people are clearly the most important asset. It is very much a “people business”.
In any organisation every member of staff – no matter what position – has a point of view concerning the running of the business. Sensible management will find ways to coordinate and consider these views and bring them together, just as a conductor will draw his musicians together to perform a symphony. In doing so the management are likely to discover changes which can be made to make the business more effective. Successful companies use a team approach, drawing at the brainpower that exists at every level of the workforce, rather than only where it is institutionalised, at the top levels of management. “At the end of the day we would lock our team in the safe at the risk of leaving one’s wallet on the kitchen table!”
In 2002 Sally Heavens and Professor John Child, members of the Centre of International Business and Management at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, wrote a case study book about Catering & Allied (the company we founded some 30 years ago). In it they relate how the determined application of two core values lead to business success i.e. “Total Commitment to Client Satisfaction no ifs no buts” and “People Working With You and Not For You” centred on imagining what should be rather than accepting what is possible and by not changing what is, but creating what is not.
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