Improve Your Restaurant's Productivity in a Few Easy Steps


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-

  • Profit loss
  • Negative work environment
  • Lack of staff accountability
  • Interpersonal employee conflicts
  • Lower quality products
  • Customer dissatisfaction

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  • Outdated business practices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

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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.

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