Restaurant business is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to have a strong team to build the business. Your success as a restaurateur has a lot to do with how well you can keep your staff happy. Managing so many different types of people such as waiters, cleaners, busboys and customer demands a lot of time and effort on your part.
Having the right number of employees, or trying to run your business with less staff will hardly make sense if you cannot manage your restaurant staff efficiently. This is especially important since they have a considerable effect on your restaurant performance. Having an inappropriate management of staff may lead to the underutilization of the staff which will ultimately reduce their overall performance and hamper the service of your restaurant.
“For restaurant team members the most efficient way to work is section wise where each server or a team looks after the needs of guests in a certain section of the dining room. If you have ever been in a restaurant when you requested a server who was passing by your table and he said he will ask your server to attend to your table it is not because he is rude or does not want to serve you it’s simply because he is not taking care of your table. Also most servers at restaurants work what is called a split shift meaning they work the lunch and dinner hours and take a break between 4-6 or 7 pm. This is to keep staffing costs in line,” says Kayzad Sadri, Corporate Food and Beverage Manager at Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited. There are certain pointers which you need to have in mind while managing your front staff:
Organize around your staff: You must take note of your employees’ personal schedules when creating your work schedule and work as closely as you can with them to ensure they are not constantly sacrificing. They should not feel uncomfortable with the role they have been given. It may sound like an obvious thing to remember, but in a potentially stressful work environment, this is one of the areas that might not always be seen as a priority. However, the more flexible you are, the more they want to stay on your team and that saves you so much time and money in the end, as you don’t have to recruit and reschedule from time to time.
Get to know your staff: It takes great deal of time investment to build relationships as with the busy restaurant schedule there isn’t always time to chit-chat. However, talking to your employees will help you find out a great deal about what kind of work they will be good at. Also, if they feel a strong connection with you they will have a strong affiliation with the restaurant. So, spending a few minutes once in a while asking how they are is time well spent. “It is very important for the staff to remain motivated and enthusiastic in order to achieve good results. They must strive to make customers happy and make their experience worthwhile so that they wish to pay many more visits in future. The staff must be trained how to cater the consumer needs and preferences efficiently. They should know how to take orders, deliver food in time without delays and welcome the guests with heartwarming hospitality. A restaurateur should maintain a healthy relationship and communication with the team so that they gain a sense of belonging and feel respected,” shares Varun Mittal, owner of Bercos and Howard Hotel, Agra.
The customer is not always right: Traditionally, the first rule in customer service is that “the customer is always right”, though it doesn’t hold much truth today. At least not when not considering the circumstances. Sometimes, your staff will have to handle unpleasant, controlling and downright rude customers and if it really isn’t due to bad customer service, it shouldn’t be blamed on your staff. If the situation gets out of hand, you should step in and show whose side you’re on. If you’re loyal to your staff, they will be loyal too.
Using Online System: Using an online and mobile employee scheduling system enables your staff to access their work schedule, swap or give away shifts mutually, request for time off and book still available shifts anytime, anywhere, from any mobile and online device. This makes their work and personal life much more flexible and helps them to keep their work schedule in their pocket all day long, and make changes to it if necessary. All in all, you leave a lot of the administrative work to your employees which will ultimatelymake them feel empowered, respected and appreciated.