Managing restaurant staff has its own set of challenges. Knowing who is the right fit and for which position can be difficult, not to mention letting staff members go. Be prepared to manage your team in any situation with our top tips.
Avoid the Hassle: Hire the best and train the rest
Hiring and firing are stressful, no matter your industry. However, staffing issues in restaurants bring up several new issues that other professions never have to deal with. When it comes to food safety, there is no room for slacking off, rule-breakers, laziness, or dishonesty. If you don’t hire the right people, or train your staff properly, patrons can get sick, and that spells disaster for restaurants. Avoid the hassle and the headaches (and the stomachaches, too) by hiring the right people and focusing on training them properly right from day one.
Training can be time-consuming. If you had to train every one of your staff members personally, you would hardly have time to finish your other restaurant management tasks. That is where productivity software can save you time and money, especially when you use software that was created specifically for restaurants and other food services. ZipChecklist is a great option for easy people management for small to medium restaurants, and it has some powerful features that you would expect to see in much more expensive software aimed at larger businesses. Staff management, training, and corrective action can all be handled in real-time with ZipChecklist, making your management time faster, more efficient, and easy to track over time with printable audit trails. It’s also a great way to take corrective action on critical issues, even when you’re not physically in the same location.
Eradicate confusion with checklists and communication
Restaurants are busy places, and it’s impossible for managers to be everywhere all at once. That means staff is often left to their own devices. Even the best-trained staff will make bad calls when under pressure and you’re not present. Without a reliable line of communication and no clear list of expected tasks, chaos ensues, and mistakes happen.
Stop the chaos before it starts by implementing clear, concise checklists for your staff. Paper checklists are a thing of the past—not only are they clunky and messy, but the cost of storing or shredding all that paper is a huge waste of resources. That’s not even touching on the environmental impact of all that paper.
Once again, productivity software, like ZipChecklist, is invaluable here. Cooks, servers, hosts, supervisors, and maintenance can all have their own checklists, and they’re updated in real-time so restaurant managers can keep a close eye on who’s performing and who’s not, even if the manager isn’t in the building. ZipChecklist increases accountability by showing you how each employee is performing at any given time, allowing you to step in and take corrective action before an issue gets too big or causes any real problems. For more detailed information on task management software, check out this article.
Avoid Failure: Keep staff happy
Your staff is your front line to customer satisfaction, so treat them right. Every staff member should feel important and that their voice is being heard. As a restaurant manager, it is your job to make sure your employees feel good about working for you. Do more to help them feel like they matter because, without your staff, your restaurant would fail.
Restaurant managers need to do more than simply watch from afar or only intervening when problems arise. Even if you can’t be physically present at all times, there’s still a way for you to stay connected. Comment cards were all the rage back before computers and smartphones. While it was helpful for managers to see what their staff had to say, it was messy and clunky, just like the checklists mentioned above. Providing a central location for everyone to voice their opinions will go a long way in keeping morale high. This can be a weekly or monthly meeting or letting staff members have access to an online forum or app.
Allowing staff to comment on aspects of their positions, share ideas for improving morale, and even allowing them to self-evaluate will keep you connected with your staff and help them feel like a bigger part of the business. Happy staff are more invested in the success of the restaurant, so do all you can to help them.
Flexibility breeds satisfaction
Your restaurant might be your whole life, especially if you happen to be the owner as well as the manager, but it is unrealistic to expect your staff to feel the same way. While they may share your pride in the restaurant and be willing to do a little extra to ensure its success, as the manager, you should also be ready to do a little extra for them. That means flexibility.
Obviously, you should never allow rules or laws to be broken, but allowing flexibility wherever you can will keep your staff happy and feeling important. This section goes hand-in-hand with the previous one, but it is important enough to warrant its own discussion. Beyond keeping your staff happy, being flexible also shows them you care about more than just the money side of your position and that you’re willing to adjust to the changing needs of the people you work with.
Flexibility in scheduling is one of the easiest ways to show your employees they matter to you. Without a good scheduling solution though, flexibility here can soon turn into a nightmare. If you happen to manage multiple locations, this task becomes even more challenging. Here is another area that going paperless can add efficiency and simplicity to your management duties. Having staff information ready with a few clicks, as opposed to flipping through piles of papers, makes scheduling a breeze.
Be the manager everyone wants to work with
Managing a restaurant can be stressful, but with the right staff, a good attitude, and the right software, you can easily become the restaurant manager that everyone wants to work with. In addition to the tips above, take the time to celebrate achievements or significant life events with your staff, and include them in decisions about their departments. Show patience whenever possible, and spend some time sharing a little about yourself, too.
Follow our tips above and take a little time to explore the other articles on our site for more ways you can truly succeed and impress your staff and customers. Here is a great article to check out, now.