On Monday, May 8th, Baro hosted a company-wide Town Hall meeting off-site at the Hard Rock Café in Downtown Toronto. The meeting spanned across two and a half hours and was organized as an effort to congratulate the staff on their hard work, identify success, establish areas of improvement and display plans for future growth at Baro.

The Town Hall meeting was adopted from a similar set up ran by 1-800-GotJunk? at their offices in Vancouver. The meeting set out to achieve three primary goals: transparency, alignment & development. Here’s how the event accomplished all three of these things:

Transparency

Baro partner, Michel Falcon, stated that the reason the meeting was hosted was to “give everyone a 360 view of the business. We wanted to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on, from end to end.”

Sticking with the topic of transparency, each Partner, Manager and some of our frontline team members were given time in the meeting to present items to the group: sales data, past events at Baro, operational initiatives, patio renderings, employee training & development and the progress of our Employee Advisory Board. This was a great opportunity for individuals within the business to speak in front of their peers, something that some of them have never done before.

Transparency is important in any business because it’s a pillar to building trust.

Alignment

The Town Hall meeting allowed for open communication between our team members, managers and partners. Every initiative, for both Face of House and Heart of House, was identified and explained so that everyone knew exactly what is going on in the business.

A good example of this from the meeting was our General Manager, Colin Denton, and Assistant GM, Steve Baert, presenting the Face of House initiatives to all team members: dedication to sales, shift leader program and our “Train the Trainer” program.

In order to have your team members giving it their all and committing to the business they have to know what they’re working towards; how can someone give themselves to something if they don’t know what the outcome is going to be?

Making sure there’s alignment within the business ensures everyone is working towards unified goals.

Development

A large purpose of the Town Hall meeting was to outline development plans for team members at Baro. Continuing education was an important point of the meeting and is a something that is valued by our partners at Baro.

Whether a member of our team is looking for access to education outside of hospitality or wants to grow into a management position at Baro, initiatives such as our management learning and development budget (stipend), quarterly learning and development sessions, management book club, shift leader program and our train the trainer initiative were outlined that aim to assist our team in reaching their goals.

 

Why’d We Do All Of This?

If you’ve read this far into the article and been over all the points we discussed at the meeting, you’re probably wondering why we did all of this. Why did we rent a space off-site, plan for weeks over weeks and then shut the restaurant down for some team bonding?

Because the 3 points mentioned in this article are crucial for any business’ long-term success. Rather than simply emailing policies or having management communicate to their team in passing, collecting the entire business in one room to have open discussions and learn together is more effective and allows conversations and questions to arise that wouldn’t normally come to light.

In addition to bringing everyone together to discuss the business, we also saw this as a good opportunity for people who may not work side-by-side to get to know each other and create more personal relationships. We loaded everyone up on to bus coaches and broke ourselves up into teams to play a little beach volleyball at Beach Bash following the meeting!

If you’d like to learn more about how you can host a Town Hall meeting, email us at info@barotoronto.com! We’d be glad to share more about how we did it.