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ETC staff meeting with Tom at GYG Nerang to get his insight for business owners

We met with Tom Graham, Owner of Guzman Y Gomez on the Gold Coast who was awarded as the ETC Employer of the Month. In this interview, Tom shares his insight as a business owner and advice to help others also in business.

You can watch our interview with Tom here, otherwise there is a breakdown below.

Tell us about your business

“Guzman Y Gomez is a National fast food Mexican restaurant business and we look after the Gold Coast area.

 My background is actually in banking and I left this to pursue a career of owning my own business. I had enjoyed GYG as a customer and being from the Gold Coast originally, I approached them and said I would like to be a part of the excitement and growth of the business. I coupled that with my knowledge of the Gold Coast area and we established a partnership as a franchisee of the business.

 In 2011 we opened our first restaurant and now today we have six across the Gold Coast. There are other restaurants around the area that aren’t part of our portfolio.

 We get up to 240 staff across all of our sites depending on seasonality with school holidays and summer being our peak seasons.”

How do you encourage a positive working culture across your business?

“I think there’s nothing more beneficial to our business than me as the leader – visiting all of our restaurants, helping the teams and setting that culture. Whether it’s something specific I need to do, or I have free time so I help them out.

 I also think it’s really important that our team feels respected. I understand that working here can be challenging, busy and stressful at times where our team can feel rushed and under pressure. So I ensure that we are very respectful and grateful for the work that our team do and identify this as much as possible. It’s also about being in there and partnering with them as well.

 We openly tell people that we have a flat organisational structure – we don’t run a pyramid where myself or the general manager are sitting at the top and never get our hands dirty. We’re always approachable and making sure we are connecting with our people.

 I think all of this generates a really fantastic culture within our business.”

What has your experience been like with ETC?

“Our restaurant has typically been staffed by Latino’s or the large number of applicants we have coming through the doors.

 We’re very conscious to be part of the community, which is something we’ve identified over the past few years to do more and more. So we approached local Employment Services provider ETC to help us through our recruitment process after we had seen some advertising and hearing of the wonderful things they had been doing.

 Not only are ETC great at being customers of ours, which made it easy to sell to them our concept, what it’s like to work for us and what our values are – they have reflected all of this really well in terms of the candidates they refer to us and the opportunities they give.

 A few occasions now we’ve been able to present to a group of ETC customers which has given me the opportunity to explain what we’re all about, our culture etc.”

Thanks Tom!

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