A shot of Linda Chadwick from the waist up. Linda is a middle-aged white woman with long blonde hair. She is wearing a black blouse and standing with her arms crossed as she smiles.
Linda Chadwick, President and CEO of Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, says that you have to truly believe in your company's mission before you can weave it into your work. — Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC

If you could create your own fantasy board of directors, who would be on it? CO— connects you with thought leaders from across the business spectrum and asks them to help solve your biggest business challenges. In this edition, we ask an expert about how you leverage your company mission to succeed.

In this edition of “Ask the Board,” we’re pleased to feature Linda Chadwick, President and CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, the largest Italian Ice concept in the world with over 550 shops. Linda shares her tips on how to incorporate your mission into everything you do for your business.

Your company mission is important. It clearly defines the purpose of your company and what it delivers to your customer base. That’s why it’s essential to keep it top of mind at all times and weave it into your regular business activities. Here’s how:

Listen to your community

Listening to your community is one of the most vital things you can do when trying to weave your company mission into the brand. Fortunately, there are many platforms and resources within your community that you can use to find out what your community actually wants and needs. Since a major part of our mission is happiness, we must hear out our community and know what they need to be fulfilled—leading them and us to more happiness.

Give back to your community

It takes more than just listening to your community. You have to actually do something about what you’ve heard. Getting involved within your community will help bring your mission to life. You have to go above and beyond your services if you want to make an impact. Our passion for doing good in the communities in which we live and serve our guests is just as strong. At Rita’s, we have year-round commitments to helping schools, sports teams, charities, and organizations. It’s just another way we deliver on our brand promise of happiness.

Lean into nostalgia

We know that we started small with only a simple stand on a porch and people loved the authenticity of this. We want to stick to our roots always and continue to give the same feeling to people they had when they visited that first location. Our customers and team members have appreciated us sticking to who we are and they know they can remain loyal to us for a long time.

It takes more than just listening to your community. You have to actually do something about what you’ve heard.

Linda Chadwick, President and CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard

Many of the brand’s franchisees are made up of former Treat Team Members and people that were customers when they were growing up. It reminds them of happy memories from their childhood or their own children’s upbringing. They want to share that with their families and communities through their own location.

Truly believe in your mission

Saying your mission isn’t enough. You must actually believe it in order to weave it into everything. From a leader’s perspective, we are passionate about helping and guiding our franchisees to represent our mission successfully. We want every single customer to receive friendly service and our employees to ensure anyone who walks in can feel our happiness. Our exceptional customer service is the perfect example of how we weave our mission into everything we do.

Let your own experiences guide you

At the end of the day, you know what you want and what will make you happy. Take yourself out of the business and put yourself in the shoes of a regular customer: “What can this company do that would make me happy?” When you figure out what may be lacking within, you can use that to help guide you in your decisions. If you allow your personal experiences guide, you’ll be passionate about your offerings and in turn, more successful.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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