#BeBetter Podcast with Michael Kurland

How Company Culture Drives Exceptional Customer Service

Empower and encourage your team to be leaders.

Dale Moore is the Head of Service at Hope Builders, Inc. where he is responsible for the Service Department that supports the facilities needs of restaurants, retailers, and grocery stores. Dale is passionate about protecting and maintaining the brand standards for his operations team and his customers.

Portrait of Dale Moore

“Let’s identify the mistake. Let’s figure out why we did that mistake and let’s move on and be better.”

—Dale Moore

Hope Builders, Inc.

14. How Company Culture Drives Exceptional Customer Service

Key Takeaways

  • When your team is invested in your culture, your business thrives and you retain your customers.
  • Integrity is key. What do you do when no one’s looking?
  • Facility managers need reliable, consistent, and exceptional communications.



Dale Moore is a seasoned business professional with 20 years of experience in the restaurant facility industry. He started his career at Hope Builders as a Helper working nights in restaurants, becoming a Leadmen on larger jobsites, then a Service Technician. He was promoted to Assistant Project Manager and then to Account Manager. Following this role, he became a Facility Manager at Chipotle’s Mid-Atlantic region, serving over 200+ locations, while also helping to develop future and current Facilities Managers. Dale returned to Hope Builders as Head of Service in 2018, where he is responsible for facilities and business development needs of restaurants, grocery stores, healthcare and retail facilities. Dale is married and is the father of six amazing children.

“No matter what your position is, you’re a leader in some way.”

—Dale Moore

Hope Builders, Inc.

Podcast Transcription

Hello, I’m Michael Kurland, CEO and Co-Founder of Branded Group. Welcome to the #BeBetter Podcast. To me, our company’s mantra to “Be Better” is more than a tagline; it’s a culture that permeates our organization, propelling our team to Be Better to each other, our customers and our communities as well as to ourselves. Each week on the #BeBetter podcast, I interview leaders who authentically exemplify how they are being better in their professional and personal lives.

Today’s podcast is dedicated to Community Action Partnership of Orange County. Since 1965, they have been dedicated to seeking an end to, and preventing, poverty by stabilizing, sustaining and empowering people with the resources they need when they need them. Branded Group was proud to participate in an Adopt-A-Family volunteer opportunity and provide a deserving family with holiday gifts, food items, and more. Learn more about the Community Action Partnership of Orange County at https://www.capoc.org/

Michael Kurland (00:02):

Welcome to another episode of the #BeBetter podcast with Michael Kurland. I am your host Michael Kurland, and I’m very excited today. We have Dale Moore, the Head of Service for Hope Builders, joining us. I’m really excited to get to talking with Dale. Thank you for coming on the show. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about you and your company?

Dale Moore (00:25):

Thanks, Michael. It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me. I work for Hope Builders. We’re a general contractor out of the DC Metro area, serving restaurants, a little bit of retail and grocery store chains. We’ve been in business for about 26 years now and we’ve been at RFMA I think since the beginning, since they broke off with PRSM.

Michael Kurland (00:55):

Nice. Well, welcome to the show again. I will say you’ve been there since the beginning. We’re going to jump right in here. We’re focusing on a company culture in this season of the #BeBetter podcast and we’re really happy to get you on. I wanted to ask you, why do you think a solid company culture is so important?

Dale Moore (01:30):

For us it plays a huge role in whether our company is successful or not. We believe we treat our employees well and they’re going to treat our customers well. They’re going to care about the company. They’re going to want to serve their customers and their technicians. That all ties right back into the culture. If you have that culture of caring, it really pays off.

Michael Kurland (01:54):

We have the same mentality at Branded Group. With both of us being on the service side of things, we see some good and some bad. We also both had the ability to be on either on the restaurant side for a while. I was on the retail side. So you got to see how these companies operate from both sides, but the biggest thing is to treat your subs better, right? Treat your employees better and then treat your subs better. Then they will treat your customers better. That’s paramount for us at Branded Group.

Dale Moore (02:28):

I learned a lot when I was with Chipotle being an FM. The relationship is so important. Even how you treat your vendor. It’s a partnership there. You guys are there for the same goal. Serve the restaurant or facility’s needs and remove obstacles. So you guys have to mesh well and that relationship has to be really tight.

Michael Kurland  (02:53):

They are an extension of you. If your subcontractors are going into your locations and they’re pissed off because you didn’t pay him or they’re pissed off because you yelled at them or treated them poorly and you didn’t treat them as a partner, which is exactly what they are, that’s going to reflect in the service that your customer gets. So I think that that’s a great way to look at treating the subcontractors through the culture. When we talked offline last week, we talked a little bit about the way your culture operates through this epic acronym. Do you mind if we talk about that a little bit? I don’t want you to give away any trade secrets of Hope Builders culture, but I think this is important to talk about.

Dale Moore (03:39):

It’s something natural here. We came up with it probably about 10 years ago, I think. Around here we just want to be “Epic” and what that stands for. For us it’s the exceptional communication.  We want to reach out to customers before they reached out to us, the problem solving, it’s never giving up. We’re always going to find a solution and that could even be turning down a job saying this is not the right job for us. We’re not going to serve you well. You might want to look at a different company that specializes in this. Integrity speaks for itself. You’re doing the right thing, even when no one’s watching. Then continuous improvement. That’s either reading books, asking questions, learning other departments, learning other skills that you’re constantly learning, no matter what.

Michael Kurland (04:28):

I really like that. I think in our world, exceptional communication is so easy, right? It’s so easy to say as a thing, but it’s so hard to get it executed. Usually the difference between a good FM company and a great one is exceptional communication. Like you said, I’ve had clients reach out to me and they’re like, “I don’t want to follow up on my jobs. That’s your job.”  That’s when I know we’ve missed something here. So we have to go back to the drawing board and get with our team to make sure that they do have exceptional communication. I really dig that. But the other one is integrity. In our world, it’s few and far between we find as many integral people as you think there should be.

Dale Moore (05:22):

Correct. I would agree.

Michael Kurland (05:24):

I think when you do come across the good ones, you hold on to them tightly.

Dale Moore (05:31):

Just to touch on the exceptional communication. Like you said, your customer wanted you to give those updates. I understood when I was in the FM role, there are so many different things coming at you at once. At one time I was handling 200 restaurants. So I needed solid vendors that had that communication just to tell me when stuff is going right or wrong, or I needed to be in the loop or they were just you guys have it handled.  I just learned that that exceptional communication is huge to a facilities manager.

Michael Kurland (06:05):

I think it’s probably the number one skillset for the facilities manager. I will agree with that because if you don’t know what’s going on and you’re getting updates from an internal team, you’re looking for updates from your external team and you’re the middleman trying to figure that out. Everyone’s looking at you. So if your external team is giving you those updates and your boss is coming in saying, “What’s going on with that HVAC unit in Maryland,” you can say, “Oh, the parts are on order. It’ll be there tomorrow.” Everyone’s calm. But if you say, “I don’t know, let me get back to you.” That’s when people start saying, “What’s going on here, what’s going on?”  You also mentioned continuous improvement as part of this Epic, which I really do love this acronym you guys got going on here. You mentioned reading books. Have you read anything recently that’s stuck with you?

Dale Moore (06:58):

The last book I read is “How Good Do You Want To Be? I think it is by Nick Saban and it was a good book.  I’m a big roll tide fan. So it sparked my interest when I saw this on the shelf. It was a good book because it hit home. He’s a hard worker. All these coaches, they worked ridiculous hours and I have it in me where I can work way too much. With a large family, his book hit home with me where it’s you know what? You live don’t live to work, you work to live. Of course we’ve all heard that before. It struck me with him because he’s so successful as a coach. I do need to slow down. I need to make time for my family. I have a lot of kids. I need to make time for them and I can still be successful without putting in those 10, 12, 14 hour days and to rely on my team more. I have an excellent young team and I need to rely on them more because they want it too.

Michael Kurland (08:02):

I love it. I have some of the same issues where when I started Branded Group, we were pulling 14, 16 hour days. There were times when I started getting the help in and I couldn’t let go. It was because I don’t know if I didn’t trust or I didn’t think anyone’s going to do it as well as I was at the time and trust me, they do it better now. I was not the best at operations. I think that work life balance is so important. So I really liked that message. I actually just finished reading a book called “Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. That was a real good one. It was more about learning to let go of the BS in your life and focus on what’s really important because at the end of the day we’re all going to die and if you can grasp the concept to live every day like it could be your last day, you’re going to live such a more fulfilling life. So I thought that was a really cool message.

Dale Moore  (09:12):

It’s so true. We could get wrapped up in the work very easily and let it control.

Michael Kurland (09:17):

So we’ve talked a little bit about the Epic. I’m wondering, is that up on your wall somewhere at your office that we’re probably not going to these days? But is it up on your wall somewhere?

Dale Moore (09:30):

It’s actually not on our walls.  I was with Hope Builders. I started my career 11 years here. I went to Chipotle and then came back and Chipotle just had such a strong culture and it was everywhere. It was in our face. We talked about it every single day. When I came back, I really wanted to bring it to Hope Builders. Our president and our vice president – they really believe we should just be living it. We should be an example of Epic every day to everybody. So you won’t see it on the walls here. It is made to basically live out and for us to be an example. The great thing about it is when things go good, we can relate back to Epic and why they went well. When things aren’t going so good, we can relate to Epic and where did we fail? So we try to talk about it as much as we can. We try to challenge each other with it. It seems to work out pretty well. We’re not perfect.

Michael Kurland (10:39):

Nobody is right? If we strive for perfection, maybe we’ll get close, but if our goal is perfection, then we’re all going to be very upset with the outcome. That’s great. It sounds like you have instilled this with all your employees up and down the office and you don’t even need it on the wall. I think that’s the true test of a culture, right? At Branded Group, we have our values up on the wall and they are be dedicated, be altruistic, be honest, be adaptable, be humble and be better. But to your point, we talk about those on a daily basis. We put those into action with the volunteer hours that we do or the Ted talks that we listen to or just the way we treat our employees and our subcontractors. So I think that you’ve got a great point there. It doesn’t need to be on a wall to be ingrained in your people. So I wanted to ask you what of this Epic culture is the one thing that stands out most to you? What do you really live and breathe and love about the culture at Hope Builders?

Dale Moore (11:54):

I think at the end of the day, it wraps in that people know that we care about them. We care about them professionally and personally. The exceptional communication, we’ve just pounded on that one. One part of it is you can come and own up to your mistakes. You’re allowed to freely say, “Hey, I screwed up,” and there’s going to be grace and support there to invest back into you so you don’t hopefully make the same mistake, but it we’re open about it. We don’t want to shun people from making mistakes or we don’t jump down their throats. It’s like, okay, we made a mistake. Let’s figure out why we made the mistake and let’s all be able to work together so we don’t make this mistake. Either give you the skill set or partner you with somebody, take some workload off, whatever that may be. But I believe our employees see that our vision is to create and encourage opportunity so you reach your greatest potential. Now I think people really feel that and see that we care about them. We want them to be successful here, successful at home and sometimes successful at another company if it fits them better.

Michael Kurland (13:07):

That’s great. Can you state that vision one more time? I think that’s really important for the audience to capture.

Dale Moore (13:14):

It’s to create and encourage opportunities to achieve your greatest potential.

Michael Kurland (13:19):

That’s why I wanted to have you on the show because I think your culture at Hope Builders aligns very much with Branded Group. Our vision is to build a conscious business to inspire future humanitarian leaders. It’s like what my parents always used to say to me when I was growing up. “I want you to be in a better place than I was. I want you to do better than me.” So I think that’s what we’re trying to do. I don’t know what your workforce consists of. We have probably 80% millennials in our office, if not more and if they’re not millennials, the rest of that percentage is probably half, is it Gen Z? The next thing now?

Michale Kurland (14:07):

We have a good portion of younger people in our office that are working for us.  When I started off in the workforce, I think we’re probably close to the same age. I had a lot of the Baby Boomers and they told me like nine to five, this is what you do. Be on time. They had this rigidity to what they did and I learned from that. But I also learned what I didn’t want to do from that. I think through the culture and trying to like partake this onto my employees that are younger, I think I want to leave them in a better place. I hope that the culture of Branded Group is doing so. it sounds like that’s what you guys want to do too over at Hope Builders, which is awesome.

Dale Moore (14:52):

We’re all gonna leave a footprint on this earth and it doesn’t just have to be a job. We can always help each other be better personally and professionally. So

Michael Kurland (15:01):

That’s the goal, right?  If everyone just went and put in the effort to be a little bit better, this world would be a better place for sure.

Dale Moore (15:11):

Yes. For sure.

Michael Kurland (15:14):

At Hope Builders, how are you continuously improving your company culture? What steps have you taken to make sure that it doesn’t get stale? The message doesn’t become redundant and fall on deaf ears? What are you guys doing to spice it up?

Dale Moore (15:31):

I think consistency is a big key. As a leader, I have to live it out. I have a fairly new service team, which they’re amazing, by the way. I think you said it best. You finally realize that people can do it a lot better than you. I’m still in control a little bit and I love it because they’re pushing me out. They’re like we got it. You know, go, go. It’s good to see that because I really have a strong passion for other people. So many people have invested in me, in my life, to get where I am and have the opportunities I’ve had. I want to do that for others because I wasn’t a college graduate. I started on the night crew at Hope Builders taking out trash and people just invested into me over the years to get where I am at today.

Dale Moore (16:23):

So I really want to give back to people. I think people see that we have a culture we promote – it’s open, you can confront well and confront often. If I’m not living up to that Epics standard, it’s okay for my team to say, “Hey, you’re not being Epic.  You’re not problem solving. You’re giving up and that’s not what we do. But also we’re open to encourage each other. Celebrating those small victories is huge. As you know, this is a thankless business. You don’t get many customers that call you up and say “Thank you for grouting that tile last night.” You know,

Michael Kurland (17:02):

But if you mess that tile up, they call you up and say, “What happened?”

Dale Moore (17:10):

So celebrating those little victories is huge. I try to promote reading. I think reading is a huge part of growth, personal growth. So I’ll either strongly suggest the book or kindly drop a book off on their desk and have them read it. Then every employee gets a book when they get here. It’s called the “Ideal Team Player.” It’s a story about a guy trying to save his uncle’s construction company and what it’s like to have an ideal team player. His ideal team players are humble, hungry, and smart. We give it to every new employee and say, “This what we want on our team. So here’s the best way to start is read the book and understand it.” We try to promote Epic every day, but also promote that leadership growth outside of it. Because no matter what your position here at Hope, you’re a leader in some way.

Michael Kurland (18:07):

That’s great. A couple of things you touched on is paying it forward. If everyone just paid it forward with trying to put the people in a better place, we’d be in a much better place. When we talked last week about your family, and I hope you don’t mind me touching on this, but you mentioned that you had a couple of kids that you were getting ready to adopt and that’s just a whole other level of paying it forward. That’s amazing. What made you want to reach out and do that? Why is that important?

Dale Moore (18:45):

Me and my wife discussed that to this day. We’re believers. Everything for us is giving.  I wouldn’t be in the position I am if I wasn’t for Jesus Christ in my life. It was something that at church, it touched our hearts and we’re like “It sounds like we should look into foster care.” Then a young lady at church approached my wife and I was actually at home that week watching a game. She came home and she was like, “Hey, we’re adopting a boy.” I’m like, “What?”  This girl approached my wife. She had a rough life and her other kids were in foster care. She was in the system and she was pregnant and she didn’t want the child.

Dale Moore (19:33):

She said something about my wife drew her to her. She went up and started talking to her. They got talking about foster care and she was like, “I’m going to give you my child.” We just felt a calling. “Okay, we’re going to do this.”  He spent seven weeks in the NICU recovering from cocaine, heroin and marijuana detoxing. We brought him home seven weeks later and we have a baby boy. During this whole time we were already doing the foster care thing and we received a six month old. He’s been with us for two years now. We’re about to adopt him. One thing we did differently is, and this could be a whole other podcast, but with foster care, sometimes you don’t have that relationship with the foster parents and we want it to be different.

Dale Moore (20:24):

We wanted to develop that relationship with the foster parents and help them because they needed help. They were addicted on heroin. They were in and out of jail and we’re still a part of their lives. They couldn’t get their son back. Unfortunately it was close, but the mom just has too many mental issues from domestic abuse. The dad has to too many mental issues from drugs and being bipolar, but we’re still a part of their life, part of their support system to help them just at least enjoy life. Even though they don’t have their son, they know he’s well cared for.

Michael Kurland (21:00):

That’s amazing. So selfless and definitely being better. I mean, kudos to you and your wife.  Just hearing that moved me. So that’s amazing.

Dale Moore (21:16):

It’s not me. It’s God moving in me and I would tell everybody foster care is not for everyone, but at least do something for your local foster care system, whether you can do respite care for foster care parents or just donate safety bags. It’s huge. Because we have kids in Baltimore city now sleeping in the office and these kids need a home and when they’re aged out, they just go out on the street. That’s it.

Michael Kurland (21:45):

I know up here in LA County, we’re in Orange County, but the next county north is LA County and another big city and it’s the same problem. As soon as they hit 18 there you’re an adult. Get out, go figure it out. They have no idea what to do. So they end up sleeping on the streets.

Dale Moore (22:04):

Sleeping on the streets and sex trafficking moves right on in and scoops them up.

Michael Kurland (22:09):

Awful. Well, I’m glad that you are doing your part and that’s amazing. You’ve inspired me. I’m going to look into at least what I can do to donate on my end and how I can get a little bit involved. That’s amazing. Awesome. Thank you. So moving on. That was awesome. You also talked about “Ideal Team Player,” the book that you give out when people start with you guys. We do the same thing. We have a book called the “StrengthFinders.” It’s a Gallup book and we have our new employees take it and they learn their strengths. Then we start focusing on how we can utilize their strengths to make them better team players, if you will. I’m going to look into “The Ideal Team Player” and download a copy of that. That’s next to my list of things to read.

Dale Moore (23:03):

Definitely a good book. It’ll draw you in.

Michael Kurland (23:06):

This has been great Dale. Very informative finding out how much aligned culturally our two companies are. I think that’s been eye opening. One last question I ask everybody. Wat are you an expert at and what advice do you have for our audience on how to become expert at said thing?

Dale Moore (23:30):

I think I’m an expert at getting back up after being knocked down. My life, personally and professionally more personally, I’ve had some down times and definitely been knocked down to the bottom. I’m really good at getting back up and fighting for either what’s right or to make it better. Even professionally, if I get something wrong or screw up a job, I’m going to focus in and hone in on how to get better. I don’t look at making mistakes or screwing up as a bad thing. I take that fuel and I get back up and I go, “How am I going to be better? How are we going to work this out?” That’s what I try to relate to my team.

Dale Moore (24:22):

I know I’m coming at you with questions and it seems like I may be coming down on you, but I just want to get to the root of the problem so we can move on and be better. There’s no reason to dwell on the mistake. Let’s identify the mistake. Let’s figure out why we did that mistake and let’s move on and be better. It’s a mental thing. You have to be strong mentally to not get down on yourself and not think you’re not up for it or not good enough. Because we all are. We all have unique abilities and you just have to mentally get past that and move on.

Michael Kurland2 (24:59):

I love it. It brings to mind victim or victor, right? You can play the victim role or you can get up and be a victor, no matter what hand life deals you. Every one of us is going to have good days and bad days and we’re going to have some stuff to deal with, but it’s how you deal with that stuff. Dale, this has been really great. I really appreciate you coming on the show. If our audience wants to get in touch with you, how can they reach out to you?

Dale Moore (25:30):

You can find me on LinkedIn, just Google or search Dale Moore. I’m sure there’s not too many of them. My email is dale@hopebuilders.com.

Michael Kurland (25:42):

Great Dale. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate having you on.

I’d like to take a minute to thank you, our valued listeners. My intention is for this podcast to inspire you, in some way, to be better.  Change starts from within and radiates outward. Therefore, start with being better to yourself and only then will you recognize how to be better others and your community. Thank you for joining us today! If you want to learn more about Branded Group, then visit us at www.branded-group.com. From our website you can follow us on social media. Also, always feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Until next time, Be Better.

Call Us Email Us
Close menu