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San Diego’s Trust Restaurant Group drives retention, innovation with culture of “yes”

The group and its chef owner Brad Wise are encouraging employees to have a louder voice.


Culture is a popular word for restaurant leaders these days, as founders, owners and executives have learned that developing strong working environments can support better recruitment and retention in a tight labor market.

But while some leaders see culture as increasing wages or offering better incentives, chef Brad Wise thinks it starts with including employees more in the innovation process. Wise has developed a culture of “yes” at Trust Restaurant Group, the San Diego-based hospitality collective that he founded and grew to five concepts, including the multiunit steakhouse brand Rare Society and counter-service butcher shop The Wise Ox.

Wise joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about that culture, what it looks like, and how it’s supported Trust Restaurant Group’s retention and innovation. In this conversation, you’ll find out why:

  • Your people want to be heard — listen to them
  • By creating a culture of “yes,” you can simultaneously innovate and develop your people
  • You can create a great experience for your guests, whether they’re engaging with you for 2 minutes or 2 hours
  • Take advantage of the changing dynamics of restaurants
  • By getting creative with your R&D, you can cut back on waste and be much more efficient

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected]

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