Are you all ready to go for a brand new working year? Or are you taking a well-deserved break before getting back into the swing of things? In any case, this is the time of year for adopting good resolutions. Because a good start is half the job done for your business. That is why we have come up with three New Year's resolutions for a brilliant 2018. Debic wishes you every success!

The change from the old year to the new is typically a period for looking back and looking forward. All sorts of trend reports are written that try to sum up what the main developments for 2018 are likely to be in the foodservice and bakery sector. All themes that you can put extra effort into in 2018. Don't have the time to read voluminous studies? No problem. Here is a brief summary of the most important keywords in our sector in 2018.

 

Trends & themes to focus on

  • Customer experience. How the customer perceives your product and your business is more important than ever. Whether you are selling fries or running a starred restaurant: create a unique experience and customers will want to come back.
  • Knowledge sharing is hotter than hot. Show your expertise, highlight it, share your knowledge. And take the time to improve your own skills too.
  • Sustainability and healthy eating remain keywords in 2018. Make efforts in that area, and let your customers know. Be good & tell it.
  • Convenience. Reduce the workload, leave part of the ‘mise en place’ to suppliers. Use high-quality, ready-to-use ingredients such as Debic desserts.
  • Presentation. Have more of the preparatory work done by others (see: Convenience), focus your efforts more on plating technique, decoration, atmosphere.
  • Digitisation. There are more and more digital solutions available; use them as much as possible. Don't (only) rely on gut feeling, make use of precise data.
  • Home delivery and takeaway are now an essential part of the picture. Give them the role they deserve in your business and capitalise on people's new eating habits.
  • Social media are no longer a sideshow, but key aspects of your communication. Make optimum use of them for interaction with your (future) customers.
 

Three good resolutions

There are 101 things you could put more effort into in your business and in your life. Exactly what you focus on this year is a personal choice. Depending on your own vision, where you are now and the goal you want to reach. Every business has its own story, its strengths and weaknesses, its areas for improvement.

But we have picked out three resolutions that are sure-fire winners. We will summarise them, and then go into more detail about the first one.

Everybody working towards the same goal

Whatever objectives you set, however good your intentions are, not much will be achieved unless everyone is on board. You are only as good as your team. The same goes for other resolutions, such as making more time for your partner and/or family: you need helping hands. Valuable employees are scarce. So make an extra effort to find the right people and make sure that they remain motivated.

The fight against food waste starts NOW!

Did you know... a third of the food produced globally is thrown away? Reducing food waste is good for the environment, as well as for your own profitability. Every kilo of raw material that does not end up as waste but is served up instead is extra profit. Profit that will ensure your own long-term future. How do you turn 'zero food waste' into a creative challenge for your team? You will find out in a later blog article.

Make more time to go 'social'

Don't see much to be gained from Facebook and Instagram? No time to get involved with social media? Think again. Today, social media are the backbone of communication with existing and potential customers. If you are not there, others will be. More and more people are almost constantly connected, and not only young people. Make some time for it at least once a week, it's worth the effort. Or appoint your own social media manager.

 

Everybody working towards the same goal: 5 tips

Finding the right people and keeping them motivated is not self-evident, as we have found out from talking to chefs and bakers. But they are crucial for the success of all your resolutions for the coming year. How can you improve your personnel policy? Here are five practical tips.

1. Choose motivated people

Motivation and willingness to work are often traits of somebody's personality. Try to probe candidates on this during job interviews. People who are naturally motivated can become demotivated by problems, but will usually respond well to your efforts to do something about it. How do you deal with apprentices in your team? Dutch baker Marc Oonk tells you his tips & tricks.

2. More honey, less vinegar.

As a boss, sometimes you may be inclined only to comment on what you don’t like. Tip: when people are doing a good job or making a special effort, tell them. Give them a pat on the back more often. For every harsh remark, make a compliment too: deal?

3. Mark special dates

Birthdays, a new baby, a marriage or a new home, important sports competitions. Show that you are aware of these events and that you remembered. Be thoughtful: it’s the little things that make a difference. They will make people feel appreciated.

4. Watch out for motivation killers

Recurring technical problems. Unclear instructions. Disagreement within the leadership team. These are just a few examples of elements that can seriously curb the motivation of valuable employees. Listen to their arguments, let them propose solutions and do something about it if possible.

5. Give them time to grow.

Throwing someone in at the deep end sometimes works, but the chances of it going wrong are much greater. Don't give new employees too many responsibilities from day one. Teach them a few tasks, and once they are doing those well (which you should let them know), you can teach them more, and so on. Progress can be made step by step ... and nothing is as motivating as achieving results.

Our wish: May 2018 be a year with plenty of team spirit, more profit and maximum interaction on your social media!

 

Tried and tested idea: organise a creative challenge for your team. For example: who can make the most attractive dessert based on Debic desserts? May be exciting!

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