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People are at the core of any business operation, and choosing the right employees to help carry a brand forward requires a passion for the search and a knack for spotting the “right fit” for the company. Chloe Rosenthal does just that for popular pizza chain &pizza, based in Washington, D.C., and fast expanding to other major cities. As the director of human resources, it’s her job to find cheerful, passionate people who are willing and able to take on the responsibility.
On this week’s episode of Retail Gets Real, Rosenthal explains how &pizza makes hiring decisions and how these decisions play into the company’s long-term strategy.
&pizza has a culture of togetherness and support within the company, and considers employees “tribe members” who create a full-service experience for customers. “Our success is our tribe,” Rosenthal says. High-performing front-line employees identified as potential managerial candidates are given training to move up the ladder. A “no ceiling policy” ensures no barriers to learning and growing, and the supportive culture roots for each individual to reach their potential.
“We define ourselves as a branding company and not a restaurant,” Rosenthal says, describing how employees are trained and rewarded for producing a delightful customer experience. The culture generates so much loyalty that tribe members began getting “&” tattoos — the company foots the bill for anyone who wants to get inked with the trademark ampersand; about 75 people have taken the chain up on the deal.
&pizza operates under four core values: keep it fresh, make it personal, celebrate oneness and elevate everything. To make sure every employee is the right fit for its innovative culture, the HR and operations departments together hold weekly “auditions,” conversations with people interested in working for the company — a chance for potential employees and management to meet each other and figure out compatibility. Turnover is a big challenge, Rosenthal says, and keeps her on her toes about properly vetting new tribe members.
Listen to this week’s episode to hear how &pizza uses social media to amplify its brand message and what new retail concepts the chain is experimenting with for future success.
Tony Fontana is one of NRF’s co-hosts on Retail Gets Real. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.