Richard Griffin Inspires on how to build a Kingdom of Champions while increasing Profits!

The above video is ONLY 28 MINUTES of the 2 Hour interview, but worth every second.
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> We have a generation of “I can't”, we have a generation of “I won't”, we have a generation of “woe is me”. We need to stop blaming other people for our failure and rather accept it as our own and stop distancing ourselves from our responsibilities?
> As I start getting wiser and more pedantic about certain things, whenever my staff go through problems and I go and start scratching, the problem is never the problem. The problem is always something else. And communication is always the solution. It is what brings that feeling of team and belonging. When people are alone and separated, when people don't feel that they belong to something, that is when they move...or when the consumer moves.
> No is not an option until you try three other ways.
> Take responsibility for everything that you do.
> Owning your own failures is one of the greater successes. By not distancing yourself from your failure, and owning it, that is actually the greatest success. Because by then, you're accepting it and you're learning from it.
> Yes, we are making money, but what are we doing with that money is more important to me.
> Are you putting it where it needs to go? Which is back into our economy and back into our people and back into the things that are skills. For me, that is what makes this a good business.
> If I don't reach the staff, I don't get through to the customer anymore.


> I believe in the success of everybody. I motivate people through labour.
> To succeed you have you believe. If you don't believe, you will never find that success.
> It's the volunteer that always wins. The person that always puts their hand up in the air to say, “Pick me, help me, I've got extra time. I'll come and work at night. Don't worry, boss, I'll do this one!” Those are the people that grow.
> We are all destined for success.
> When a person is feeling valued and heard, that is when they start to shine.
> Many, many years ago, one of the first business books I ever read was Anita Roddick's “Body and Soul.” And in that book, it said, “to succeed you have to believe with such a passion that you make it a reality.” It was one of the most profound sentences I'd ever read in my business career and I still use it today with our staff, in our training manuals.
> It's about belief and it's about passion. We've got to believe that we can.
> Zingara for me is about doing good. Had I always done good? No. I am 50% devil! But Zingara is good! Working here has no meaning to me unless we are out there actively engaging with goodness and kindness. In all our stores we have this thing: Do random acts of kindness every day!
> I want people to love what we do. We love every day and I want others to love it as much as we do, or just even a little bit.
> When I was 16, I had a nervous break-down. And it was food and kitchens that gave me a sense of peace and gave me a sense of accomplishment. Food is very heeding, restaurants are very heeding. Being creative in anything is a heeding process. And restaurants saved me. At that point in my life, restaurants full-out saved me.
> Get on with it. Be Resilient. Be Truthful.
> My creativity comes by not giving up. I refuse to give up. I don't ever give up.
> If you want it, it's yours, you can have it. That's my message to anybody on this Earth. If you want it bad enough, work! It's not skills and it's not brains – I don't have much of those. But what I do have is I have a very good knowledge of what a cabbage is worth and if I give you 2 cabbages and you give me back 1 cabbage, I'm f#cked.
> Giving up my company and learning to love it for what it is (without the money attached to it) was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. To know that I'm doing this for reasons other than myself. I want Zingara to do good and I want Zingara, not only to do good now - I want Zingara to do good for many years to come. I want to leave something behind that has the benefits of every single person that works in it. Not in a hokey-pokey kind of fucking, but where its foundations and its structure are built on this essence. Where I know that anybody can come to this house and come to these doors and they can build a champion, and be given all the tools that they need to, in order to achieve it.
> No matter what sides of the company they're on. These are my people. Those four women raised me in the kitchen. They were the ones that taught me what was right and wrong. Who wiped the blood off my body when I came into that kitchen at the age of 13. It wasn't a beautiful picture. These are the women that taught me my life. I want them to be valued as the heroes that they truly are in my world. I would be nothing without these people. We are a family of people that have been together through all of these things and all of these stories. And we have lived through life and we have lived through death and we've lived through great sadness and also great joy. I'm proud of the payroll that we're able to achieve for them. It's something that is very humbling for me, to meet those kind of demands and achieve the kind of turn-overs But it is a relationship, between myself and our staff and the customer.
> I'm so grateful to my parents for the role that they've played in my life. They've just always stood by me. No matter how wrong it's gone, they've always just loved me. They've always had this capacity to love.
> On a business level, it's people like Kevin Hedderwick from Famous Brands. The guy is an absolute inspiration. What he's done with that business is unbelievable. I have so much respect for anybody's body of work, or content of work, and it's not about a specific person or, you know... for me, everybody's great.
> It's not my responsibility to make you shine. It's my responsibility just to put the stage there. The rest of it is your job!

Know How

> Our labour laws in SA are teaching people not to take accountability for their wrong-doings.
> We have a company policy which says that if you are fired or dismissed for any reason – it doesn't matter what it is – you're more than welcome to apply for your job again in 3-month's time.
> I believe that a consistent work-force is a stable product, it's a consistent product, it's consistent turn-over, it's a consistent revenue. When I look into restaurants and businesses... and we are afforded the luxury of looking at a lot of restaurant's balance sheets (because we look into buying restaurants), we can always see a consistency issue. And you pick it up in the general ledger.
> You can see it from the bottom-line performance of what happens on a daily basis in terms of turn-over. When turn-over is going up and down, you can normally look to the payroll and the other side of things and you see staff are going up and down at the same time.
> We took a company from 100 people and grew it into 350 people in the space of 6 months? Some people would call it suicide. I call it lots of star training. We are very clear about the fact that we are wanting our staff to be the greatest success possible. We're very clear on the fact that we're wanting everybody to feel the same scope of hope that I, or you, or anybody else feels.
> We are very clear on the fact that we want nobody to use the word “can't”, we want them to use the words “how can I?”
> In any given month, we will spend anywhere between R¼ million and R½ million on staff development. What we then see is a higher staff retention. On average, they'll stay 4-8 years.
> Education is for all our staff. The new campus is going to be for every single staff member that works here. And it's not voluntary education. This is compulsory education.
> If we f#ck up 10 times, well, then we fuck up. But I'm not going to be happy until we've tried. I still believe there's a better way to be running business. I still believe there's a better way to be doing things.
> Whenever we build a restaurant, every single staff member in the company has to write a message of love and place it in the floor.
> I'm very, very strong on the fact that I don't believe in doing the same thing twice. That's boring.
> When you take 100 people from every single different walk of life, good or bad and you shove them all in a room together and you say, “Ok cool, let's work and be creative”, when people ask me “how does magic happen?”, I say, “That's how magic happens.” People share and they talk and then they start feeling safe. And they've got this boundary and you do huge things.
> When I found poor communication in Johannesburg, I went a spent a week with the kitchen staff and we built a staff canteen together. Why? Because I believe if everybody sat around the same table we would all talk. Did it work? Of course.

Interesting to Know

> We're very firm on the fact that we don’t want to be a big corporate. We want to be a kingdom.
> The tent is a phenomenon but you've got to operate at 80-90% occupancy, Otherwise you're dead in the water.
> I would like the staff to potentially get rid of me and theoretically take over the company, is my big one. I would like the people that have worked here for the time that I have too, to take ownership of every angle of the business, including the owning of the company.
> I've committed to Mumbai, which is the new restaurant and Iis in the original Zingara building – the one that burnt down. We're doing a very big creative restaurant experience, it's another experiment which is going to be a lot of fun. We are turning the entire building into a three-dimensional space. Going home to Zingara is very big - it's a circle for me. It's a completion of the road, it's a completion of the journey. Zingara was the restaurant that really defined me as an operator. I love that building.

Building a Kingdom of Champions

> The staff member is my prize and my greatest focus.
> While we are growing the company and trying to find the best way to run this place, we spend a lot of time with our staff. Hours and hours and hours of communication, of listening, of understanding. What are their requirements here? What are their requirements at home? Are they meeting these requirements? What are their financial situations? What are their kids' situation? What are their schooling environments?
> We want to build a company that is the best company – not only for myself, but for everybody.
> We don't only have to teach our staff that this is the job that they need to do, we also need to spend our time teaching them that this is how we need to think about the way we do the job.
> In Southern Africa, our minimum-wage group are so depressed about the minimum-wage, that its actually what's blocking them to find success and because of that they are forgetting to believe in their own success.
> What we're finding is that the greatest request that is coming from our people is the request for information.
> We are trying to breed a environment where everyone takes responsibility for their own actions.
> For every 14 staff we have a training manager and an edicational representative within their division to assist them with their duties on hand. When I was doing the government ordinance now for a skills development, we did surveys across our staff and there wasn't a staff member that felt that they needed training in what they do. What they wanted was in training of the things they don't do. They wanted to continue growing.
> When we don't have those meetings and we don't have that communication, what happens is that people start falling away. We see higher turn-over of staff, we see poor performance when it comes to food preparation. We see poor service delivery from the waiters and the floor staff and the bar staff. We see disheartened managers with longer hours and just poor attitudes. When we follow our routine of spending time with people and everybody feels a part of something and of creating something, our people start to feel valued and heard. And that is when we seriously see a restaurant or a division shine.
> We've taken the time and we've spent the energy and the time with the staff member and the person, understanding their life and working skills around them and helping them grow. We see the benefit of the bottom line. We see it immediately.
> We're getting ready to launch a staff TV-channel - which is going to be super exciting! I want to talk to them through television sets because I'm not able to be in the stores every day and I'm not able to spend one-on-one time with people.
> We want to do things in real-time now. That, if I'm working in Johannesburg, it makes no difference – you have equal amount of contact to the heart of the company which is this office and the people in this office. That you have as much contact with the heart of the company as you do with your line-manager on that side, so that it's a real process, so that we can see the success stories... that I don't feel like I'm being stuck in this job, you know. I'm stuck in here on minimum wage, I'm not getting anywhere. All I'm doing is washing dishes all of my life…
> We're talking to them in real-time about the things that are being achieved. So that it is a very clear communication between myself and you. This is our culture. Our culture has not changed. Just because you don't see me every day, doesn't mean that I'm not standing next to you.
> I'm assisting people in the ability to think properly and I'm seeing the results. We're just building better people, you know? Are they perfect people? No, they're not. But we're building better people. People that are accountable for the way that they think and the way that they do and you're giving them the practical tools in order to achieve that. That's all very well and fine, to sit and chat with somebody about everything they're doing wrong. But it's another thing to sit down with them and take them through the process. And we're definitely seeing the results. We're seeing better performance, better service levels. We're seeing greater responsibility, we're seeing greater communication and understanding of other people. We're seeing less temper and anger. We're seeing less rocking of the boat and more driving of the boat.

The above video is ONLY 28 MINUTES of the 2 Hour interview, but worth every second.
Check out Madam Zingara’s site:
Follow Madam Zingara on Twitter: (@Madame_Zingara)
Visit Madam Zingara on Facebook: (Madam Zingara)

Please leave a comment below and tell us what you thought of the interview and topics discussed, or maybe you have questions you want answered – let us know and we will get back to you.

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