Solotel has unveiled a brand refresh and company values as part of a strategy to recruit top talent and retain them for the company’s future growth.
The rebrand positions Solotel as ‘A Family of Venues’ with enabling growth, cultivating creativity, and creating unity at the heart of its values. It’s supported by a creative campaign featuring Solotel staff and a message: ‘come with us’ to shape the future of hospitality.
With multiple venue refurbishments and new venues on the horizon, Solotel partnered with youth culture agency Monster Children Creative to creatively solve the challenge of attracting the best industry talent while staying true to its values.
Solotel CEO Elliot Solomon said that after so much upheaval over the last few years, it was important to make clear to current and future employees what the company – which operates 27 pubs and restaurants – is all about.
“With so much change that happened in the last two or three years, within Solotel and in the industry, and with so many new people that have joined Solotel, we wanted to be really clear about who we are and what we’re about. The emphasis was to be much louder and prouder on who we are as a company, what we stand for, and how we’re positioned in the market from an employee perspective.”
While Solotel is very well-known within the industry, Solomon has identified that for newer employees, they might only understand that they work within a venue, rather than for a larger company, and thus not realise the growth possibilities available to them within Solotel.
“There’s a gap with employees around knowing that they don’t just work at Opera Bar or The Clock Hotel, or the Golden Sheaf – they work for Solotel. And that opens up a lot of opportunity for them.”
With respect to future employees, a series of creative executions feature fun, energetic and youthful imagery of Solotel staff with a consistent concept of ‘Come with us’ – read as ‘Come with us on our journey in shaping the future of hospitality’, as well as interchanged with verbs depending on the role or use. For example, ‘Come pour with us’ aligns with recruiting sommeliers or bar staff; ‘Come garnish with us’ for kitchen staff; and ‘Come host with us’ for venue management, front of house and reservations.
Matt Pike, creative director of Monster Children Creative stated, “Good people make great organisations and that’s what Solotel represents. We just helped articulate where they fit within culture and position them to attract likeminded souls who can join them on their journey to shape the future of hospitality.”
Moving towards retention
Recruitment is one focus of the new rebrand, with the company posting roughly 30 new roles every week across the board. However, it’s in a much better spot than at the height of the covid-induced staffing crisis, when Solotel was trying to fill hundreds of roles per week.
As the staffing issues slow down, Solotel is now starting to shift its focus towards the retention and growth of top talent.
“We’re pretty settled now in terms of our team, and now it’s all about making sure that they stay with us, and making sure that the people that are in the business now – that could be running it in 10 years – know what the opportunities are, and we make sure that we nurture them,” explains Solomon.
This focus on retention tracks with one of Solotel’s new core values – enabling growth – that has always been a part of the Solotel story. Ex-CEO Justine Baker started within the company at 21 as an assistant venue manager and worked her way up to the top job. Current COO Ben Stephens started out as a bartender and climbed the corporate ladder to executive management.
“There’s great stories like that. So it’s really about making it much clearer to new people in the company that you can grow with us, because we are a big business,” states Solomon.
“That allows you to grow from your first entry level job, whether that’s after school or after university, all the way up to potentially taking my job from me one day.”
The new-look Solotel brand, including logo, visual identity, and campaign, is being rolled out across the group’s digital channels as well as all external recruitment and there are plans for a paid social and outdoor campaign. A dedicated Solotel Jobs Instagram account has also launched making it easier for hospitality professionals to keep across relevant opportunities.
The attraction and retention campaign also includes Solotel’s Perks program that includes a $500 payment for existing staff who successfully refer a friend, as well as sign-on bonuses of $1,000 for new full-time staff and $500 for new part-time staff.