Miccal Cummins – Gastronomy

Member of TEC 31, Chaired by Graham Jenkins
Sydney, New South Wales

TEC-Miccal-Cummins-GastronomyMarketing has become an incredibly diverse practice, with a whole range of different points where organisations need to impress customers, clients and stakeholders. For Miccal Cummins and the team at Gastronomy, this importance has been taken right down to the food and service that companies offer in their meeting rooms.

What might have once barely received a second thought has now become a valuable niche for Miccal and his team, with Gastronomy providing high quality concierge and meeting services to busy organisations. From reception and concierge through to room management and catering, Miccal’s team has developed a full service offering for Sydney businesses.

●    Delivering a service that matches client expectations
●    Focusing on personal relationships
●    Developing a strong internal culture

The challenge:

Understanding client culture while building a strong internal one

Culture is central to the performance of Gastronomy, both internally and when working in a client setting. The company’s bespoke service offering requires the team to really understand the culture of the business they are working with, and then offer a service that complements their client’s offering.

“We tailor different services to different corporate cultures, so the biggest challenge is finding out what a corporate culture is and then building a service to match – you have to get that right from day one,” says Miccal.

We have all the usual challenges like staff, capitalisation, sales and marketing, but the real challenge for us lies in understanding a corporate culture.

While company culture is an important aspect of Gastronomy’s client-facing operations, it has also been important to develop an internal culture of transparency. This has been complicated by the remote nature of the work; Gastronomy’s staff work on site in small teams, making it harder to maintain a consistent culture.

With culture representing such a fundamental aspect of both sides of the company, addressing it has become a core part of Miccal’s strategy.

The solution:

Building a culture that supports strategy

Among the most effective strategies for Miccal and his team has been to establish strong relationships with individuals within client companies who ‘influence’ the culture they are working in. Not only is this a strong strategy for understanding a client’s business, as these individuals move between organisations they can provide an ongoing source of referrals.

“My business model relies on the fact that people are mobile within corporations. Both administrators and managers move between corporations to further their careers,” states Miccal.

What we do is find out who these influencers are, because they influence the entire corporate culture, and then we meet their needs.

The impact of this approach is two-fold; not only does it help to establish the right product offering from the start of a new relationship, it also offers further opportunities when these people inevitably move on to new roles.

Overcoming the dispersed nature of Gastronomy’s staff has also called for a unique approach to their internal culture, one that is heavily rooted in improving the organisation’s internal processes.

“Some people think company culture is about giving people a cake on their birthday, and maybe that’s part of it, but company culture is really about setting goals for the organisation and then making strong decisions about how people are treated.”

At Gastronomy, a major part of the culture involves openness and transparency, both in terms of day-to-day operations and company policy. Miccal and the team put issues to the group and give their employees the opportunity to contribute and add their perspective.

This same approach extends to spotting when a client site isn’t functioning as it should, requiring Miccal and his leadership team to step in and reinforce the company’s culture within a certain site.

“If I feel a team isn’t functioning well, we go in there and bring people back into our can-do, positive culture. Our leadership team is talking to each site almost every day so it’s an ongoing conversation.”

The results:

Building a productive workforce

The single largest advantage that Miccal has observed from this focus on staff engagement and internal culture building has been on the company’s productivity. Gastronomy has not only continued to grow but has also seen the amount staff are able to get done increase in recent years, a development Miccal attributes to the positive culture.

“I think happy, motivated people who are able to make decisions quickly are way more productive. We have very high productivity and our productivity has increased significantly over the last two years,” says Miccal.

Part of the reason for this boost in productivity has been the positive influence of TEC’s membership. Miccal adds that “once we had a clear and single vision of what we were doing, I’d say productivity went up about 15 per cent.

“TEC helped me define things we had been doing that were instinctive, document those things and then push out that information to the management team. We are in the people business so there is always a new person and always a new process, but getting that vision out to people is still really important.”

Gastronomy was recently awarded a Three Diamond Standard rating at the annual Wedding Industry Professionals of Australia Awards.