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Building An Inspiring Team Culture During COVID-19 – Meatings BBQ

Wondering how to build an inspiring team culture during COVID-19? Carol Hunt, manager of Meatings BBQ found her staff going above and beyond during COVID-19! Here’s how she created an open environment that empowers them to do that.

During this time, we really have to be adaptable and open-minded to our staff’s needs so they feel safe.” -Carol Hunt, Managers at Meatings Barbecue

Barbecue mean, burger and two Meatings BBQ team members holding delivery food
Meatings Barbecue is an Ottawa-based catering company, known for mouthwatering specials like the Mac ‘n’ Cheeseuritto, brisket sandwiches, and meatball subs. Right before the pandemic began, they were looking to expand to new locations, which was put on pause. Although COVID-19 pushed Carol and her partner to cut back, the culture of communication she’s built has made her team closer than ever before, even while physically distancing.

“Since COVID-19 started, there’s been a change in our team’s energy. Our staff don’t just come into work for day-to-day tasks but go above and beyond with suggestions to help our business thrive. They are motivated to help us succeed, and we assure them as long as we are in business, they will have a job.”

When Carol posts temp jobs for Meatings BBQ on Hyre, her shifts are taken quickly because it is well known her team environment is incredible, with great communication and clear expectations.

Top Rated Team Culture


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Here are strategies that Carol employs to build a positive team culture during COVID-19:


  • Giving staff ownership of their role
    -Expectations for the role are communicated very clearly, including break time, getting a free meal, and how to get in touch.
    -Staff are welcome to share any feedback and ideas to improve the way they work and their workplace environment.

“We take a lot of suggestions from our kitchen staff, who come up with weekly and daily specials! They take pride in a special that does well, and we’re proud of them too. We value creativity and an open environment where they can share ideas as well as any fears they may have.”

  • Understanding and listening to staff needs
    -Knowing the uncertainty of the pandemic, Carol makes her staff feel comfortable by asking how they feel and listening without judgment.
    -Carol understands contract work can be intimidating and assures staff they will have a job as long as they are in business, which motivates everyone to share ideas to improve customer service for Meatings BBQ.
  • Adapting to challenges together
    -Communicating expectations for safety regulations, physical distancing, wearing masks, and taking input from the team to give them the safest experience.
    -Finding casual labor and retaining good staff by improving communication with Hyre.
    -Taking a new direction during the outbreak by pivoting away from catering to takeout, and receiving guidance from a business coach on long-term strategy.

The ratings that Meatings Barbecue and Carol receives on Hyre from temp staff are always positive, and their outstanding service to their team and customers can be an example to other businesses.

“My partner Max and I are proud of the fact we have a good team that likes to come to work. Even though we can’t get together like we usually do with staff parties, we see our employees engaging more to help us and that’s been a big highlight.” 


Safety during COVID-19 with Hyre:


  • Touchless communication
    Staff can clock in and clock out from their phones without touching pen and paper.
  • Easy health tracking and scheduling
    24 hours before each shift, staff gets an automated questionnaire on COVID-19 symptoms. If they are exhibiting any symptoms, a replacement will be found.
  • COVID-19 tested shift replacements
    Last-minute replacements are vetted with a Covid-19 negative test within the past 48 hours, and the proper certifications for their role.

“The Hyre team has great communication, and whenever I have a last-minute cancellation they are very responsive to find an available individual. I am grateful for their support!” – Carol Hunt

Meatings BBQ team and chicken drumsticks

One easy way to work on team culture during COVID-19 includes empowering staff with more flexible scheduling. With Hyre, team members can easily share their availability, making it easier for you to assign shifts. Or, you can just let them pick the shifts that works best for them.

Our team at Hyre is here to support shift managers and frontline workers with free shift scheduling software. Try it free today!

Hyre's scheduling platform calendar showing multiple shifts

Want to up your employee shift scheduling game?

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Our platform tracks time and attendance, automates your weekly scheduling tasks, improves internal communication, reduces turnover costs, increases job satisfaction and overall work performance. Hyre is also equipped with a free COVID health tracking module.

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