Since the outset, the chain developed a set of rigorous “Snooze approved” standards for food and sourcing partners. As of 2021, 95 percent of Snooze’s ingredients meet these standards. Additionally, all Snooze restaurants divert 90 percent of waste from landfills.
Taking its sustainability promise a step further, each Snooze restaurant has a “Green Captain,” someone appointed to ensure the unit maintains its corporate social responsibility functions. One of these is giving back a percent of sales in cash or in-kind donations to the local community. Having employees committed to the same environmental and community impact is integral in making sure sustainability is not just corporate speak. For Snooze, sustainability isn’t merely a buzz word thrown around, it’s something Birzon says runs deep in the DNA of the brand.
Snooze is also proving that operating in a sustainable way does not have to come at the expense of a brand’s success. Sales jumped beyond where they were in 2019, up 20 percent in volume.
This success should carry over to easy growth, Birzon says. Still, expanding a restaurant requires people, and subsequently a positive culture to attract them. In the middle of a hiring crisis, Snooze draws a labor force in part because of the community and sustainability-focused partnerships that make up the brand’s identity. Before opening, every Snooze restaurant completes three community partner days with local nonprofits in each area. These days have collectively donated more than $500,000 to nonprofits.
“Not only are they making great money for themselves, but they're working at a business that makes it easy for them to be involved in community and sustainability endeavors and to really feel like they're making a difference in society,” Birzon says.
Raising wages is inevitably another key part in attracting great workers at Snooze. While a $15 minimum wage was once frightening to most restaurant companies a few years ago, it’s now barely an entry point to draw in high quality employees, Birzon says.