Article contributed by Mike Berman, COO, Day & Nite/All Service
Like most notably insightful things, Edelman’s recently released 21st annual Trust Barometer offers both great opportunities and challenges. For the first time in history, business is now the world’s most trusted institution, yet undercurrents of distrust ripple through every demographic and sector.
Certainly Edelman’s comprehensive findings are heavily influenced by Covid-19 and while North America continues to report great progress, there remain periodic reminders that Covid is anything but a relic of history. More than any other segment of the economy, hospitality is at a critical pivot point of trust ultimately determining the extent of opportunities seized or challenges slipping to serious risk.
As if surpassing pre-Covid levels of profitable growth isn’t challenging enough to begin with, building high rates of trust equity very much includes managing through complicated societal issues perhaps best defined as an ongoing tug-of-war between public good and individual liberties. No industry is more in the public eye than hospitality, making it even more difficult to balance this raging equation that seems to grip virtually everything in the nation these days. The Brooklyn Nets, among others, have tried to mediate it by reserving entire sections for fans with proof of vaccination id but as someone with a November birthday, even if it is now in the very distant past I can vividly recall how easy it was to get fake id proving I was of legal drinking age and have to believe bogus vaccine cards are similarly available these days. Foodservice’s role is to delight and entertain, not arbitrate deep societal fissures while further recognizing a business’ brand trust cannot be shaped by the broader public. In sum, great opportunity can only be seized through careful actively cultivated earned trust.
Building essential levels of trust means going far above and beyond compliance. If, for instance, you historically consider Board of Health inspections unwelcome painful intrusions, rethinking these as trust enhancing opportunities as a matter of differentiated attention to hygiene and food safety detail will do much more than just limit amounts paid in fines. Transparency in every word, deed and action—particularly for “back of the house” functions typically out of customer sight or even consciousness—serves as a vital way to establish and enhance market trust. These efforts are strengthened when allies, notably trusted subject matter experts, authoritative third parties, are enlisted to publicly validate everything your business is doing to earn unrivaled trust. Of course, businesses trusted by the public are also businesses having the easiest time hiring and retaining top talent.
Yes, it takes hard and continued work to build trust. Yet corporate credibility can be lost in an instant taking years to recover, if ever at all with Volkswagen serving as a vivid illustration. In today’s climate inattention, inaction can be just as credibility crippling as VW’s purposeful misdeeds.
Creating the safest most hygienic environment is now as foundational for foodservice trust and credibility as delightfully memorable entertainment has always been. Just as posting cleaning checklists in restrooms became commonplace years ago, publicly posting your equipment maintenance schedules is a uniquely powerful way to build unrivaled, transparent trust. Ensuring the safest indoor air quality is tops on everyone’s list today; protecting indoor air source and space to mitigate dangerous pathogens with the added benefit of promoting it with a trusted certification certain to raise levels of trust as this video will attest to:
Recognizing hospitality’s critical trust pivot point, the Day & Nite family of companies is partnering with an impressive and growing list of leading foodservice enterprises to not merely build their greater public trust but to propel these businesses with credentialed validation and high-impact cross-promotion for all extra measures being taken to create the safest platform allowing for memorably delightful patron experiences. To tighten and expand your essential circle of trust email email@example.com