Everybody wants to save the world
As I sat on my sofa contemplating death by Ferrero Rocher (what a great way to go), after what seemed like an eternity of Only Fools and Horses Christmas specials, I settled in to watch the new look Wonder Woman movie. Two things struck me whilst watching the beautiful, sword wielding brunette take on the Nazis. Firstly, I should probably not eat any more chocolate, as Wonder Woman clearly knows when to say no. And secondly, wouldn’t it be fantastic to be a superhero, fearlessly taking on the baddies and ultimately saving the world?
I felt inspired to think about the work that we do in our bars and restaurants. I realised that if we unlock our own unique superpowers, and use them to do good, it might be great for business.
Many restaurants and bars that I visit always seem to do their bit. Many establishments have a charity collection box on the bar top, or give donations of wine and vouchers to the local school raffle. Many businesses however don’t seem to want to solve any big, meaningful problems, or have a deep rooted cause that they support. The times we are living in today could be described as challenging, to say the least. From political uncertainty to global inequality and climate change, there’s plenty to keep us all up at night.
Generationally, people today feel more in tune with global problems, and millennials in particular are feeling strongly committed to making a meaningful difference in the world. Whether it’s raising money for a local charitable cause, or using suppliers that are more ethically conscious, you can easily inform others about what you do and why you do it, and inspire everyone around you to join in. By finding a purpose, and creating a mission to tackle something beyond your own profits, you can do good within the four walls of your workplace and extend this out into the world.
When injecting some purpose into your business the biggest challenge is the affect it could have on the experience for your guests. Often we see charity adverts promoting a message that leaves us feeling guilty and slightly depressed. I am sure that none of your guests wants to order a side of sadness with their steak. Instead of focusing on the problem, draw attention to the mission you’re undertaking, the solution that you’re creating, and the positive results that your work is having on the world.
Finding your superpowers
The key to finding a mission, and making it a success, is to find something you really feel passionate about. This ideally makes you feel energised and also energises those around you. Your mission should be unique to your business. It must compliment the tone of what you do and should resonate with your team and guests.
What superpower can you unlock in your business, and what problem can you solve? Choose something that gets you, your team and your guests motivated towards making a difference. Can your business help to end loneliness in your community? Or perhaps help to cure a disease that is affecting someone you know and love? When we decide to solve one meaningful problem we can unlock passion within our teams, motivate the management to create urgency, and attract like minded guests that will love not only what we do, but also why we do it.
Creating global impact
There is no reason why any business, large or small, can’t think big and take on a global cause. Two years ago, 193 world leaders came together to create the United Nation’s 17 Global Goals for sustainable development. From ending poverty, to taking action on climate change, to ensuring quality education for all, the global goals provide a comprehensive list of how we can save the planet and create a brighter future for everyone on it. The importance of mentioning the goals is not to tell you to take them all on board, but instead to encourage you to think big, be brave and pick one global goal that really resonates with you. You can then connect with others and build opportunities in your workplace to help complete that mission. Find out more at www.globalgoals.org.
No matter the size or style of your business, your day will undoubtedly be filled with challenges. Finding a purpose for your work is about understanding what challenges you want to be consumed with. When your focus is to end the clean water shortage crisis, suddenly completing next month’s rotas seems far less stressful and demanding. Whether you’re raising money through events, reducing plastic waste by banning straws, or feeding those less fortunate in your community with a weekly food bank donation, be sure to measure the impact that your initiatives are having. Keep a tally of the difference that your work is making, and ensure that your team, your management and your guests are always informed and inspired about the great work that is happening within your workplace. By connecting everyone around you to the impact they are having, you can create momentum to spur everyone on to do even more. Why not create feel good factor in your venue and give everyone the chance to feel like a superhero? After all, not all heroes wear capes. Some wear chef's whites or aprons, or polo shirts splattered with marinara sauce. Let your team feel inspired, your guests feel a part of the movement and together maybe, just maybe, we might end up saving the world.