Restaurants are back with a vengeance as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and people return to dining out. The industry’s projections are incredibly optimistic, with record revenues of $898 billion predicted for the end of 2022.
The key to any good restaurant is effective management. Tweaking and twisting the front-of-house experience leads to happy customers and a happy team that will go the extra mile for you.
Let’s go into what you need to do to take care of your servers and bar staff.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Walk through the restaurant and think about where your customer will go, such as between the tables, the bar, and the restroom. Have you laid your restaurant out for easy access?
The same principles apply to your staff. If your customers are struggling to get around, so are your staff. Poor route optimization makes life harder for your team and increases the chances of trips and falls.
The whole experience should be as seamless as possible.
Create a Staff Training and Development Program
Standardizing service means ensuring everyone goes through the same type of training. Formulate an employee handbook, provide points of contact for new staff members, and don’t be afraid to collaborate.
You should also focus on the development side of your business. Staff who want a long career in the hospitality industry want chances to develop. It keeps morale high and reduces overall turnover rates.
Development is something employees in every industry expect. Approximately 63% of employees said they left in 2021 because of a lack of development opportunities. Providing pathways for advancement and promoting internally can send the right message to your staff.
Conduct Pre-Shift Meetings
Before the beginning of every shift, get your employees together to discuss everything ranging from menu items to VIP customers. You should also go over any service issues you have noticed and any feedback for individual staff members.
It’s also an opportunity for you to allow your staff to be heard. Highly engaged employees were three times more likely to say they felt heard at work.
When listening to your staff, make sure you truly listen to what they say. Act on their feedback because they are the ones who’re ultimately in the trenches.
Protect Your Staff with a Restaurant Insurance Policy
Anyone who works in the U.S. understands that they are potentially at risk of becoming embroiled in a lawsuit. A single accident in your restaurant could lead to stressful legal action. Injuries that lay your staff low could also mean they struggle to pay their bills.
Protecting your staff with a comprehensive restaurant insurance policy is not just vital for the security of your business but for supporting your staff. Try going above and beyond the minimum requirements to send the message that you care about your team.
For more information on restaurant insurance policies, you can learn more here.
Keep Close Track of Your Reservations
Shift planning is crucial to keeping your staff happy. Your front-of-house needs to be prepared for whatever comes.
Preparing an online reservation system and tracking it ensures that your staff is always ready for busy and quiet nights. It’s also beneficial for customers, who can get reminders and make their reservations remotely.
Make sure you have a tailored plan for each pre-shift meeting, so your staff can make the appropriate arrangements.
Implement Point of Sale (POS) Technology
In 2020, the restaurant POS terminal market exceeded $10 billion, and this number is only expected to grow. Implementing POS technology into your business is the ultimate way of streamlining your business and getting more insights into how your restaurant is performing.
It’s an easy way to track employee performance, so you can provide tailored advice and development programs to get the most out of your staff.
POS systems are also ideal for staff members to quickly process orders and transfer them to the front-of-house. They can also use them to take payments and make table management simpler.
There are a lot of POS systems to choose from. Search for one that allows you to benefit from a free demo.
Adopt the Right Tipping System for Them
Different tipping systems are a controversial issue throughout the restaurant industry. Staff members may have other preferences regarding which tipping system works best for them.
The best tipping system is one that your servers and bar staff agree on. These team members rely most heavily on tips to supplement their salaries. Also, be mindful of the kitchen staff. Many restaurants choose to assign a portion of the tip total to these staff.
Let your team decide on the right tipping system to keep them happy.
Build a Community
Creating harmony and continuity among your waitstaff is crucial for a harmonious team environment. Discord among your staff will lead to a hostile working environment and frustration.
Conflict is the killer of any slick restaurant operation, so focus on building a community. Resolving disputes between staff early and ensuring that everyone has the confidence to speak to you about any issues will help create a real team atmosphere.
Always aim to maintain a personal relationship with each of your workers. Never simply walk past one of your workers without saying something. Having the courtesy to say hello or asking how things are going may seem like small things, but they make a significant impact.
It takes time to do this, and it’s not something you can develop overnight, but if you get it right, your team will reach its potential.
Your servers and waitstaff are crucial to making an excellent first impression. They will receive all the credit when things go right and all the flak when things go wrong. Building a team that is happy to be there and willing to give their all will drive your restaurant to new heights.
What is your biggest pain point in getting the most out of your team? Think about the systems you currently have in place and their impact on your team. Then, collaborate with them to figure out some of the changes you can make to improve their working conditions.