I get it, if you run a restaurant you might think that a mission statement is unnecessary because you know what you do already, you serve food right? Having previously published on Mission Statements and also on Values I've been discussing the topic with leading chefs recently and I am more convinced than ever that they are an invaluable business tool for chefs who want to show real leadership. Against that backdrop, I was interested to find that Thomas Keller has published a mission statement accompanied by core values. Let's take a look.
Taken from Thomas Keller's website:
the text below is a wonderful exposition of Keller's mission and values. Critically, he understands that owning and running a restaurant group means that he is not 'just a chef' but is the CEO, and as such, it is his responsibility to tell his employees what the group seeks to achieve, and what behaviours he expects from his staff.
The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group (TKRG) is more than a group of restaurants dedicated to quality food and exemplary service. We are a group of individuals committed to the common goal of making fond memories for our guests and ourselves, elevating the standards and expectations of the restaurant industry and developing a secure and ideal work environment. To achieve these goals we must all work at them tirelessly, fearlessly and with the following values deeply imbedded in our core.
Work toward achieving greatness, but maintain humility.
Use our best judgment; perform our work selflessly, honestly and caringly.
Show respect for our peers, our supervisors, our industry and our guests.
Recognize and embrace the responsibility we have to our peers, our supervisors, our critics, our industry and ourselves to uphold the success we have achieved.
Maintain our standards of quality moment to moment, day to day and year after year.
Keep an open mind. Recognize innovation and realize inspiration, which will result in evolution and growth.
Have the courage to take initiative and the conviction to follow through. Search for new ideas and means of improvement.
Have the confidence that we are all looking out for each other's best interest.
Work together to achieve results that are greater than those we can achieve alone.
Make a positive difference in the experience of our guests and those around us.
Create fond memories for our guests and each other.
Establish a benefit to the guest, the restaurant or the company that outlives us.
These are 12 carefully thought through values that Keller has and are the 'non-negotiable' values he wants his employees to demonstrate also. What is so powerful here is that no employee can be left in any doubt what is expected of them day to day, and what behaviours are required to advance through the organisation. Everything becomes simpler for management and for employees because the required behaviours are made clear.
If you want to represent Thomas Keller, you must share and live these values. So even when Keller himself is not in one of his restaurants, he knows that nevertheless his staff are seeking to achieve his mission and are doing so in a way that is consistent with his values because these have been communicated clearly and consistently to every employee. The alternative is leaving the representation of your values by your staff to chance, and that's no alternative at all.