The power of purpose and passion in the restaurant industry
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The power of purpose and passion in the restaurant industry

Published in partnership with Jenny Handley Performance

26 April 2023

Passion is emotional, it motivates you and makes you feel energised and good about yourself. People who follow their passion are the ones who relentlessly pursue excellence.

Purpose is different, it is a motivation. It also makes us feel good, but it focuses on the why behind what we do as it’s often about contributing to others.

How purpose and passion come together

In the restaurant industry, there are many passionate people, with chefs being a great example. They love creating culinary art and feeding people, while front-of-house professionals are proud to serve.

The combination of excellent chefs and management is the secret of happy staff, happy diners and a full, profitable restaurant. – Jenny Handley

The aim should not be to win awards or receive accolades, but instead the constant pursuit of excellence, best achieved by combining purpose and passion.

A future in food

The 2023 JHP Gourmet Guide Haute Performance Award for Purpose & Passion, sponsored by Wesgro, was awarded to Sense of Taste Chef School. Here students acquire culinary expertise, feed their passion and feed others. They work and own shares in a street-food restaurant, Urban Playground, in which they hone their skills and learn the reality of running a restaurant. In terms of purpose, they are taught how to care for their community through food.

When you are involved in your passion or your purpose you will feel the flow. – Jenny Handley

Being in the flow, or zone, means that everything else becomes superfluous, you are living in the moment.

How do you find your flow?

What you do outside of work influences your productivity at work. Flow is a highly productive state in which you have optimal consciousness, you feel so absorbed that you are unaware of time.

The more time you spend pursuing your passion and experiencing flow, the better you will be. I find my flow in a weekly 3-hour art workshop, and I know that I think, write and perform better after that.

One-room dining

Restaurants that exhibit seamless flow between the kitchen and the diners’ area are the ones that make their mark. It is essential to have a team that see themselves as a united whole.

How does this happen? Here are 4 ways to develop unity within your teams:

  1. With training.
  2. Providing an environment in which everyone can learn.
  3. Team members must be allowed to make mistakes (once!), give honest feedback and work together on improving themselves and one another.
  4. Focus on the end goal. Success is not a mistake, it’s the result of a strategy. What’s yours?

Are you in your zone? If you are, you will be performing at an optimum level. If not, you need to re-engage and recalibrate your work. Don’t do a job, live it.

Those who love what they do show it in every essence of their being, from their smile and posture, gesture and conversation, to the speed at which they walk! – Jenny Handley

It’s time to do an audit of who you are, what you are doing, and what you would love to do. The restaurant industry offers a platform for passionate, purposeful people. If you are in this environment, up your game so that you lead by example.

Jenny Handley Performance

Jenny Handley Performance

Jenny Handley is a brand specialist, speaker and writer. She empowers companies and individuals to build their brands, offering brand strategies, high-performance training and sustainable leadership development in hospitality and other industries. Founder and curator of JHP Gourmet Guide™, SA’s original, respected restaurant rating, it’s the brand that she is the proudest of.

All views and opinions expressed in this article represent that of the author, Jenny Handley, and do not represent that of Dineplan or the companies we work with. While we make every effort to ensure that the information we share is accurate, we welcome any comments, suggestions, or correction of errors.

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