Potluck’s Open Communication Improves Retention

At Potluck Café Society, social impact is on the menu! They create jobs and provide healthy food for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Employer Case Study: Potluck Café Society

Potluck uses culinary training and employment to help people regain their confidence, skills and economic independence.

Over 50% of their workforce currently faces or previously experienced persistent barriers to employment. Staff can work flexible schedules from 2 to 35 hours a week, based on their needs.

Potluck recognizes that employment is a stabilizing force and a fundamental step towards gaining greater stability in life, and that many barriers can be overcome with the right support.

Potluck prides itself on its high retention/low turnover. Many staff have been with the organization for more than a decade—virtually unheard of in the food and beverage sector.

The leadership team believes that everyone has value and they have created a workplace culture where employees are treated like family.

There is a sense of loyalty among staff who are proud to work there and some have even recruited family members to join the company.

They have a dedicated resource to help staff navigate through challenges or obstacles, so that they can continue to be productive in the workplace.

By providing a caring, compassionate, nonjudgmental workplace, staff feel comfortable discussing any sensitive issues they may experience personally.

When an employee finds they need to step away from work, or take some time to gain control over their life issues—which often would typically result in job loss with other employers, Potluck works with the employee to help overcome those challenges, and they are welcomed back to work once they feel ready to return.


This chapter is an excerpt from the B2B Untapped Talent Guide to Innovative Hiring and Retention.

Available for download

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