There are a plethora of suggestions that food industry professionals can consider to better understand how to improve restaurant productivity.
What Inefficiency Does to Restaurants
If you are a restaurant owner or a professional in the restaurant industry wondering how to improve restaurant productivity, you are far from alone. How do you know if your restaurant business is running inefficiently? Look out for these warning signs of an inefficiently run restaurant-
Negative work environment
Lack of staff accountability
Interpersonal employee conflicts
Lower quality products
There is a litany of reasons to explain how a restaurant becomes inefficient. Usually, it is a combination of many issues, including-
An ineffective restaurant manager
Outdated business practices
Inappropriate software utilization
Failure to properly onboard and train staff
Scarce communication or miscommunications between front house and back house
Decreased customer service or focus on customer experience
Keep in mind that these issues are intersectional, they are intrinsically and tightly correlated with one another. As one issue gets worse, it often creates or worsens other issues. For example, ineffective restaurant management strategies can explain the failure to properly onboard and train staff. This results in prominent warning signs like those listed above, which include lack of staff accountability and rapidly declining customer service.
In order to improve your restaurant's productivity and efficiency, you will likely need to address multiple coexisting issues. The good news is, that similarly to these issues aggravating one another, they will also improve together as they are addressed and remedied.
How to improve Productivity in Your Restaurant
Thankfully there are many corrective or proactive steps you can take to improving restaurant productivity. Below are some suggestions to help you improve both your business's productivity and efficiency-
1. Invest in and implement software solutions and tools, such as- Collaboration tools- allows team members to access the same necessary information Communication apps- like collaboration tools, communication apps allow your staff to instantly share crucial data or updates through organized and accessible programs Delegation tools- delegation tools permit you to assign tasks to specific staff members or shifts. All employees should be able to access this software to view, edit, and update tasks Time tracking applications- helps cultivate a better understanding surrounding how much time your staff is spending on various tasks. Track and analyze time and productivity to optimize restaurant efficiency Automation tools- decrease unnecessary administrative work by crafting email templates instead of repetitively typing out the same email Scheduling applications- Free up the average 4 hours a week or more that managers allot towards scheduling. Streamline your scheduling by creating, updating, and sending your employees their work schedules in a fraction of the time
2. Promote self-management-
Grant employees control over their own schedules
Allow employees to swap and trade shifts
Resist micromanagement and hyper-surveillance
Promote both self-accountability and self-sufficiency
Trust in your employee's autonomy
Increasing self-management will help-
Decrease managerial workload
Improve the overall work environment
Increase employee satisfaction
Discourage unproductive manager and employee power dynamics
Proliferate healthy professional relationships
3. Improve communication-
Model positive, consistent, and transparent communication methods with all staff members
Avoid unproductive check-ins, texts, or emails
Establish and implement standard communication protocol and expectations
Provide sharing software and communication apps
Decrease excessive notifications through consolidation and mindful communication
Analyze and mitigate communication gaps
Positively reframe setbacks or failures as learning opportunities
4. Practice and promote self-care- A healthy and happy workforce is crucial to restaurant success. Actively model self-care practices and good hygiene to encourage them your staff. Set aside free time daily to pursue nonbusiness activities, whether that is painting or running on the treadmill. This time is crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health. Allow social media usage at work when appropriate. Check-in with your employees personally and non-punitively if they seem down or are less productive.
5. Reward your restaurant staff- Not only will you be recognizing their accomplishments and positively reinforcing them, but you will also help your restaurant's profit margin. Studies have shown that incentivizing employee reward programs increase overall business profits by an average of $104,000 a week and result in 85% of employees feeling more motivated.
6. Set the mood by mindfully decorating your restaurant- Research color combinationsthat are psychologically proven to increase mood and food sales. For example, red, yellow, and orange can increase a customer's appetite. However, too much yellow hues increase anxiety levels and lessen the time your customers will want to spend in your establishment
Keep spaces organized and discourage messiness and clutter. Customers are more attracted to and comfortable in clean and aesthetically pleasing environments. Efficiency and productivity will be positively affected as well. Employees will spend less time on tasks like searching inventories and frantic last-minute cleaning tables Increase natural light to positively impact customer and staff moods and boost productivity.
Utilize your windows and optimize your seating chart and restaurant layout accordingly. If you do not have access to natural light sources, consider implementing lighting that more closely replicates sunlights instead of overly bright, fluorescent lights
The ability to increase efficiency and profitability is well within your grasp as a business owner. Undertaking corrective or proactive actions to address inefficiency will benefit your entire restaurant operation.