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Silver Chef and its village

Silver Chef has been a mainstay in the world of food and beverage for many years. Proudly certifying in 2015, social responsibility is at the very heart of what the business does. Silver Chef has ranked in Business Review Weekly’s ‘Top 50 Best Places to Work in Australia’ for four consecutive years, up to and including 2013. We spoke to Amanda Robinson, IT Change and Communications Manager at Silver Chef to understand what's so special about the culture that Silver Chef has managed to cultivate. 

Why is Silver Chef a force for good?
Silver Chef is Australia's only dedicated hospitality equipment funding solution. Since its inception in 1986, it has helped more than 30,000 customers, from start-up cafes to large restaurants and hotels, to realise their business dreams.

We provide a flexible equipment funding solution to customers through Silver Chef's Rent-Try-Buy® solution in the hospitality industry.  In other industries, GoGetta offers the Rent.Grow.Own® funding solution.  Without Silver Chef, many of these businesses would not exist, as they may not qualify for finance with traditional lenders.  We give budding entrepreneurs a fair go and a leg up in business.

Silver Chef is also proud to support Opportunity International (OI), and to be a Certified B Corporation.  We understand that to be successful we need to align our daily activities to a greater sense of purpose.  To this end, we have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to lift 1.5 million people out of poverty by 2020.  I’m so proud to say that we recently broke through the 1 million mark – a massive achievement, and are well on our way to achieving our ultimate goal.  

How is Silver Chef enabling you to reach your dreams?
I completed an interesting task at the beginning of this year, which was to determine what my own personal values were.  This was something that I only reflected on due to Silver Chef’s purpose driven culture.  My top three values were Communication, Learning about Technology and Relationships.  My role at Silver Chef is the IT Change and Communications Manager, so clearly Silver Chef allows me to excel, because I’m aligning my role to my highest values.  It’s such an open culture that I have no fear of expressing myself and being authentic.  I like and admire the people I work with, so I get to do what I love every single day!

Silver Chef has ranked in Business Review Weekly’s ‘Top 50 Best Places to Work in Australia’ for four consecutive years, up to and including 2013. What is so special about this unique culture Silver Chef has managed to cultivate?
At Silver Chef our staff are extremely spoilt, with a long list of perks such as office massages, ping pong tables, free breakfast daily, employee share plan, free drinks on Friday afternoon and so much more.  I came from a large multinational where instant coffee was cut from the budget, so needless to say, it was a huge change for me.  We all love the outrageous number of perks, but if none of them were on offer, I’d still be happy to work here.  I say that because working at Silver Chef truly feels like being part of a big family.  We stick with each other through difficult times and celebrate our wins together.  We truly care for and about each other, which is something I’ve not experienced in the workplace before.  Our people are enabled to try out new ideas without fear of failure and I believe this is one of the company’s greatest strengths.

Can you tell us more about ‘The Village’ and what it is aiming to do to change the way staff at Silver Chef work?
At Silver Chef we follow the Gazelle methodology to ensure support is provided across teams, departments, regions and countries.  We have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly routines to ensure we are on track to achieve our goals and are aligned to our purpose.   During our daily huddle, we discuss what we’ll be doing and if we have any roadblocks to achieving success.  Without fail, every time someone explains a roadblock, someone else within the team will offer assistance or a solution.  Then the best part of the daily ritual comes next.  We nominate someone else within our team or the business for a core value.  Our core values are Teamwork, Attitude, Well Being, Respect, Integrity, Flexibility and Communication (TAWRIFC).  The nominations are posted on the home page of our intranet so that everyone in the company can see all the wonderful stories of support.  These nominations are counted, and one lucky individual is sent on an all-expenses paid overseas holiday each year, as our employee of the year.  Starting the day being thankful and ready to show appreciation and kindness for others is just part of the Silver Chef DNA.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ - Mahatma Gandhi
What are your own lived experiences of the values in your work and your everyday?
Silver Chef has inspired me, and many others, to find purpose in what we do beyond just our day to day activities.  They allow me to do paid volunteering every year, fundraise for Opportunity International and have paid me to be part of the B Corp committee at work, something I’d happily do for free.   Through the B Corp committee, I’ve heard countless stories of the good we are doing for our community such as our Refugee Program, Community Volunteering and Environmental initiatives etc.  Working at Silver Chef has shown me that we can do more together than we can do as individuals. 


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