While feeding more than a million customers a week across our 580 Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat restaurants, Craveable Brands also aims to nourish the ambitions and career aspirations of our people.
Nurturing the next generation of hospitality entrepreneurs, managers and franchise partners is vital in the pursuit of business growth. I believe we need to recognise potential, create opportunities for employees and managers at all levels, and allow talent to flourish. With a national network of nearly 13,000 staff career development is one of the foundations of our solid business structure.
Craveable is small enough to let people shine but big enough for endless career growth – at head office, within each restaurant organisation and across our brands. Craveable is a real powerhouse of capability and skill, but also a place to grow brilliant craveable food businesses.
Career development at Craveable
Internal mentoring, cross-department experience and formal education programs through the Craveable Academy ensure employees can continuously develop their skills and experience.
The Craveable Academy, together with industry learning leaders like AIM has targeted programs for everything from Emerging Leaders to High Performers. From the basics in using our systems to bespoke and targeted solutions for Business Units and individuals. The programs are tailored, with targeted capability growth directly linked to our core competencies and Craveable values.
Career development and support is a priority in our business and as a result, many “Cravers” move up through brands and departments, becoming senior leaders and executives.
Career development in restaurant
We recognise that the learning our people do on the job needs to not only be relevant for their brand, but relevant to their life and potential future roles as well. Knowing this, we have mapped all our Learning Pathways to Nationally Recognised Hospitality Qualifications. This means that when they are completing their learning with us, they are also well on their way to completing a nationally recognised qualification as well.
In late 2020 Craveable launched a pilot training and development program for restaurant managers transitioning to become franchise partners. There is a wealth of talented individuals in our network, and we are thrilled that this program has already seen eight graduates, including the Franchise Partner of Oporto Springfield which opened in March 2021.
Many people in our business started their careers working in a restaurant to then work their way up to more senior roles including, restaurant management, managing/owning their own restaurant or working in the corporate office in operations, IT, HR, property, accounts, or marketing (to name a few).
A vision of career pathways
Anyone in a leadership position has the responsibility to provide a vision of career pathways for employees and, importantly, remove the barriers for them to develop in higher roles – roles that may not have been immediately apparent.
I’m definitely a case in point around that. Some of the roles I’ve done in my time have allowed me to garner experience in different areas and put more building blocks in place to get to the next position, even though that may not have been obvious at the time. I never thought I’d be leading an iconic Australian business comprising of over 400 small business owners and 13,000 employees, but through the skills I acquired and opportunities I was given through my career – here I am today.
With respect to career development, it’s partly what’s within you but it’s partly what others see in you that enables you to grow, and sometimes you need that external view for someone to look at you and say, ‘You can do this. I believe in you to do this’. And to be honest, most of the significant opportunities I’ve had in my life have been because other people have unlocked things in me or enabled me to believe in myself that I had the potential to do those things.
Our Leadership team here at Craveable are always keeping an eye out for those with the capacity to “stretch” beyond their comfort zone. We’re less bogged down on, let’s call it ‘strict technical specialty’ rather we look for people with a passion to grow and develop and provide the support required.
The pandemic highlighted those whose “learning agility” allowed them to adapt faster and more readily to the changing hospitality conditions, revealing themselves as hidden gems of the business.
We’ve had to learn how to do things in different ways and very quickly. Our sector continues to evolve very quickly. Customer behaviour is evolving very quickly so people that are comfortable at being uncomfortable, who are able to navigate situations and learn quickly to adapt, is a really key mindset.
The last 12 months have been pretty trying for most, but composure under pressure is really important.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions creating uncertainty and impacting the hospitality industry across the board, Craveable did not need to claim JobKeeper for its employee network and is currently advertising for nearly 350 positions across the three restaurant brands and head office due to business growth.
I believe you need to be proactive in your career and have a plan – not a complicated plan – you need one that you can embrace on a daily basis – here are some of the actions that I have implemented in my career, and still do.
- Build a network of trust within and outside your organisation. Great people who you believe in and who believe in you will make a world of difference to your career. I’ve always been really lucky that I’ve had a good network. I’ve expanded that network over time. And it’s so true what they say, particularly the more senior you are, 70% of opportunities come from a network that don’t come due to advertised roles or agencies.
- Be open to change. Sometimes things that are not obvious can end up being the best things that ever happened to you, so don’t be dismissive about that. Even though something may not be immediately obvious in your direct remit, if there are opportunities to stretch beyond that, or get different exposure, do that.
- Be proactive. If your development is really important to you, then be proactive and disciplined, create the time to focus on that and make things happen. Treat it the same way as if your boss put a meeting in your diary and you were going to turn up to that. Attitude and energy are 50 per cent of what makes a person successful.
- Take control of the noises in your head. It’s very real at any level where you sometimes might find yourself in a situation thinking ‘Do I really belong here?’ Noise is just noise. If someone is saying to you, ‘I really think you could do this’, maybe you should start listening to that more often rather than that noise going on in your head.
- Be a people person. People that tend to progress the most are – because they either love customers and/or hopefully love working with lots of different people and that’s really critical in a business like ours. We have nearly 13,000 team members and 150,000 customers that come through our door every day. You have to like people if you want to do well
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