We’re In The People Business - Amir Mostafavi of South Block Juice
Play • 1 hr 12 min

This week, we continue our discussion on labor with another innovative restaurant leader, the Founder & CEO of her favorite local juice shop in the DC Area, Amir Mostafavi of South Block.

South Block currently has 11 locations, all in the DC Area.  Like many fast-food/quick-service brands, South Block was not immune to the COVID pandemic, however, he was able to keep all of his staff employed during the lockdowns.

Amir is THE model business owner for this new restaurant era. Company culture no longer takes a backseat, it must be front of mind for every brand & operator in the industry!

Moments to Listen For:
Rule #1: Don't be a jerk because your people will quit.
Amir worked at his first food-service job for ONLY two weeks. His reason for quitting so soon was simple -- his manager was a jerk! Bad managers can easily affect your staff retention, because as Amir puts it, “people don't want to work for jerks”.

Rule #2: Put your team in your dream.
To help create a positive company culture, Amir believes in including your “people in your dream.” One of the innovative ways Amir has included his employees in South Block’s success is through an employee profit-sharing program -- his team is rewarded bonuses due to the success and profitability of the company.

Rule #3: Connect to the community.
Hear from Amir about how South Block Juice serves the entire community.  His non-profit called Fruitful Planet donates fresh fruits and veggies to local food banks and shelters. Check it out!

One of South Block's core values is "Small hacks can make big impacts." They've donated over 45,000 pounds of fruits and veggies in less than two year. Wow.

Your Culture is Never Perfect.
Amir admits that even South Block doesn't have a 100% perfect company culture, but then again, no one does. For him, the difference-maker has been prioritizing the needs of his employees, above all else (that includes his guests)!

Related Resources
The Real Way to Build Brand Loyalty & Trust – Andy Hooper, &Pizza (RR Episode)
Balancing Digital Engagement & Personalized Service During COVID
Let’s Think Outside the Bun – Greg Creed, Yum! Brands (RR Episode)

Connect with Amir on LinkedIn!

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