There are a few Canadian organizations with established employer brands that stand out within their industry. Westjet is a clear trailblazer and Bombardier receives plenty of recognition as a great place to work as well. Since their early days in the 1970’s, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar has maintained a prominent reputation as a great place to work in the Canadian casual dining segment. How did they develop such an iconic employer brand? There are several key employer branding elements that they execute extremely well.
An authentic employer brand story
The Keg’s employer brand story is evident every time a guest pulls up a seat at the bar – it’s fun, it’s high energy and the action never stops. What’s truly unique about the employment experience at The Keg is that their brand story doesn’t end when the doors close at last call.
Life at The Keg is all about relationships. As an organization, there is high value placed on personal connection and that sentiment extends through all aspects of the business. Every night, servers banter with guests, grill cooks and bus boys share laughs to get through the dinner rush and bartenders welcome regulars with a familiar smile.
Joining The Keg means an opportunity to develop important life skills surrounded by great people. That employer brand promise has been consistently executed since day one.
Investment in corporate culture
An employer brand steeped in camaraderie doesn’t just happen without corporate commitment. Having a good time is a big part of the Keg experience, each and every day. The Keg invests in developing and supporting the culture they sport so proudly through staff events which set the bar in the hospitality industry.
The Keg knows how to throw a party, and they like to do so as often as possible. Keg Cup, where staff race to win the coveted trophy by day and perform surprisingly well-produced air bands by night, has become legendary in the business. The Keg Oscars where top performers are celebrated Hollywood style is another big affair that represents the value placed on employee contributions and corporate culture. Over the top corporate conferences send a clear message to the leadership team as to their value within the organization, consistently reinforcing the culture and all the amazing reasons to continue to choose The Keg as their career destination.
Just as importantly, Keg events are always balanced with personal acts of appreciation. Genuine thank-you’s and high fives are plentiful and regularly served up at the end of a busy shift.
Brand Ambassadors for Life
With a strong focus on training and development, The Keg has a reputation for promoting from within their ranks and staff members often move into roles as Managers. Retention is significantly higher than the industry average for both staff and management.
Ask anyone who has ever worked at The Keg and they’ll tell you, there is something special about the experience. Time spent serving in a Keg dining room is a defining period in their lives which they continue to identify with long after they have taken their last steak order.
The Keg recently launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #keggerforlife. Keggers have embraced the concept and are enthusiastically using it to share their Keg experiences. The campaign showcases the very best of The Keg’s employer brand and brings the culture to life online. Once a Kegger, always a Kegger!