From driving worker wellness initiatives to retaining employees throughout COVID-19, hospitality enterprise Sneakers & Denims has been named employer of the 12 months on the 2020 RISE Awards.
Sneakers & Denims founder Andy Freeman was priming his enterprise for development at the beginning of 2020.
Mr Freeman had spent the earlier seven years increase the Sneakers & Denims portfolio of venues throughout Perth metropolis from one to 5 (and extra deliberate), shortly changing into one of many CBD’s most established group venue operators.
Venues below the Sneakers & Denims model comprise The Flour Manufacturing unit, Varnish on King, the famend skull-clad Caballitos, Hadiqa, and Goody Two’s, with building below approach on the group’s newest venue: a three-level Pirate Life Perth brewery on Murray Avenue within the CBD.
Speedy development had offered many operational challenges for the enterprise, which it sought to beat by investing closely in its staff, significantly individuals who might assist and handle the areas the founding employees was least skilled in, comparable to finance.
Main as much as 2020, the group had additionally invested its digital channels, reserving and reporting techniques, with 100 folks on its payroll.
Then COVID-19 hit, threatening to halt Sneakers & Denims’ trajectory and belting the state’s hospitality business.
Bars and eating places throughout Western Australia have been briefly closed to cater to social distancing restrictions and government-enforced lockdown durations.
However the shuttering of venue doorways didn’t imply Sneakers & Denims was closed for enterprise.
Whereas the realisation that any single bar could not do properly was all the time behind Mr Freeman’s thoughts, the considered all 5 probably falling over was not an choice.
Sneakers & Denims sprang into motion, first clearing all collectors, making preparations with landlords and looking for financial institution loans for every venue as a ‘simply in case’, staying in common contact with employees and prospects.
That transfer was strengthened by a technique that included the foresight to stop all pointless spending, and a rewrite of menus to make use of present cool rooms’ inventory, enabling the enterprise to pivot extra seamlessly to the drop in commerce.
Weekly newsletters have been despatched to all 100 employees, that includes strategies of what to eat, what to observe on Netflix, and updates from Sneakers & Denims administrators, with employees given the choice to interact in weekly group train periods.
Hospitality just isn’t a commerce that may simply transition to a working from residence mannequin, but Sneakers & Denims prevailed, catering to takeaway commerce and beginning its personal labelled sanitiser bottles, whereas additionally utilizing a few of the downtime to work on future occasions together with the Melbourne Cup and New Yr’s Eve.
These duties have been undertaken whereas navigating the problems of restricted out there employees, with solely salaried employees and some casuals eligible for JobKeeper; the final supervisor even stepping in to do the dishes.
As soon as restrictions have been eased, the enterprise continued its tight administration, backed by day by day finance and operations conferences so any modifications have been swift and decisive.
It was this strategic planning and versatile choice making that performed an vital position in Sneakers & Denims not requiring any financial institution help.
Moreover surviving financially, Sneakers & Denims managed to retain all employees this 12 months, largely because of its open and trustworthy traces of communication, underpinned by an present supportive staff tradition.
That tradition has been enhanced by its personal worker wellness program, which includes Sneakers & Denims funding non-alcohol associated month-to-month staff actions together with browsing lessons and meditation programs.
For excellence in folks administration, workforce motivation, recruitment and retention methods, Sneakers & Denims obtained a Enterprise Information RISE Employer of the Yr Award.