How you manage staff can be the critical factor between a thriving business and a failing one. Especially in hospitality – after all, it’s people that make the experience that much more enjoyable for customers. However, hospitality experiences some of the highest staff turnover of any industry in Australia. Here we explore restaurant team management tips to create a culture that increases workplace satisfaction and productivity among staff.
1. Establish a shared vision
When a team of people are aligned on a goal, they are more likely to work together to achieve it. Clearly communicate your restaurant’s story, it’s purpose and unique selling proposition by sharing your vision or mission statement, for example, with new staff in interviews and during onboarding.
Then, set both high level and tactical goals for the team to aspire to together and individually. A high level goal may be to win a ‘Best Restaurant’ award for the year, and a tactical goal may be about how many people you aim to be seating per service.
2. Be transparent
Being transparent about your business is a way to encourage staff to become more invested in its success. One approach to become more transparent is called ‘open book management’ is a method of continually sharing a business’ financial position with staff members to increase staff engagement. This could look like sharing numbers, like weekly revenue, and even running strategy workshops every few months to generate ideas for growth.
3. Clarify roles and responsibilities
People are more likely to perform their duties well, and work more effectively in a team, when they have a clear idea of what they need to do and who they need to work with to get the job done. During onboarding, take your employees through the list of staff members’ job titles and responsibilities. Depending on the size of your team or teams, it can be worth listing the managers of each staff member so the chain of command is clear to everyone. This information can be kept as a handbook back-of-house for staff to refer to at any time.
4. Make work easy through improved systems
Having clear systems and processes helps staff members work more efficiently, which is incredibly important in a busy restaurant. Setting up a specific hospitality POS like Square for Restaurants is a great idea to manage your team smoothly. Square for Restaurants empowers staff to optimise floor plans to turn more tables, for instance, and input re-orders and upsells with a few taps on devices.
Square Team Management also allows you to set custom permissions for employees so they rely less on managers for simple tasks when using the point-of-sale system. Employees can also view and adjust their schedules and see timecards and hours worked to reduce confusion and unnecessary back-and-forth communication about paychecks and rostering.
Get Started with Square Team Management
Empower your team and protect your business.
5. Get feedback from your staff
Capturing what staff are learning by working front of house and back of house will allow you to respond better to customer needs and rectify issues, for instance inventory management, before they become significant business problems.
There are various ways to feed insights from the floor back to management. As well as team strategy or brainstorming sessions, it can be worth offering different avenues for feedback. One-to-one meetings with managers, or even an anonymous feedback box may elicit more detailed responses from introverts, for example.
As well as learning more about your business, asking your staff for feedback will help them to feel like their opinions matter.
6. Show staff they’re valued
Showing you value the contributions of your staff is critical in motivating employees and achieving employee retention. Paise for work face-to-face and in a timely way reinforces behaviour that benefits the business, customers and other staff. You can also more formally reward staff for their good work and with things like gift cards presented at monthly staff events.
Celebrating business success together is a way to build morale and acknowledge the impact of strong teamwork.
Hospitality can be hard work. Respecting break times, time off and sick leave, and other wellbeing measures like providing nutritious meals, can be the difference between working at your restaurant and others.
7. Train employees for unexpected events
If the year 2020 taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen at any time! It’s important that employees are able to think critically and creatively when things go wrong, and work together to achieve the best possible outcomes. Building an internal culture of trust is one of the key precursors to working together to solve problems. Trust can be built by displaying dependability (doing what you say you’ll do) and showing support for your team members, even when they make mistakes. Here’s a great summary of how to establish trust in the workplace.
In managing various day-to-day events, use scenario training to teach staff how to manage menu changes, dietary requirements, late-shows, unruly or demanding behaviour from customers and escalating issues to management.
From using quality restaurant POS software to trust-building, there are many ways to leverage team management techniques to improve productivity and retention among your employees. When in doubt, call on the golden rule ‘treat others as you’d like to be treated’, and lead by example. Not only will your employees thank you for it, but your customers will know your restaurant to be friendly, considerate and approachable.