Gusto 54: Creating a Culture of Ownership and Accountability
(10 pages of text)
The sole owner of the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group (Gusto 54), which owned and operated nine restaurant concepts in Toronto and Los Angeles, had grown the restaurant group into a huge success story. In a competitive, low-margin industry, Gusto 54 outperformed its peers and consistently achieved its desired profit margins. Gusto 54's strategy was grounded in innovative growth, the use of technology, and empowerment of all employees to take an entrepreneurial approach to their roles. The owner had grown the company strategically, making business decisions based on her belief that her most valuable resource was having the right employees. She focused on building culture, hiring employees who fit the culture, and investing in the employee experience to retain them. She also made efforts to keep the leadership team lean and to include all members in decision-making. While Gusto 54's strategy had fuelled its present growth, in 2020, the owner was concerned about the impacts of rapid expansion. She wondered how to balance growth plans with the need to hire and retain top talent and maintain an engaged, motivated workforce. How could she scale up without losing the family-style culture her employees valued?
This case can be used in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on leadership, management, entrepreneurship, and organizational behaviour. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Define the term culture, and explain how this definition can vary and how culture can affect organizational growth.
- Outline the steps and considerations involved in building a leadership team.
- Define a lean leadership team, and list its benefits.
- Identify different leadership styles, and explain the value of adopting an inspirational or motivational leadership style.
- Outline the steps for ensuring employee engagement, and list the benefits of doing so.
- Identify the leadership and organizational challenges associated with rapid growth.
- Recommend strategies for overcoming such leadership and organizational challenges.
Accommodation & Food Services
United States; Canada, Medium, 2020
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