3 Ways to Promote Restaurant Staff Communication
Restaurant staff members are like family, and as such, they act like family. That means they love each other, but they can also have moments of serious conflict. Any restaurant owner or manager knows how easy it is to succumb to the “family life” in the restaurant business. But no owner wants to play the parent when things go sour. Here are some ways you can start promoting a professional atmosphere without losing the family feel that makes working in the restaurant business so much fun. One of the most important things you can always work on in the restaurant world is promoting lines of communication between staff, BOH and FOH, and managers.
1. Pre-Pop Meet-Up
You know the busiest times for you restaurant. Sometimes the most helpful way to promote healthy staff chemistry is by looking ahead for trouble. When servers and cooks are the busiest, that’s when they are most likely to make mistakes. By gathering the back of house and front of house for pre-pop meet-ups, you’re acknowledging as a manager that things are about to get busy, but you should take the time to ask your staff, “what do we need to get through this busy shift as a strong and capable team?” By doing this you’re making everyone feel involved and ready to take on the busiest points of their shift. Also by coordinating these pre-shift meets, you’re creating an atmosphere of professionalism in the workplace.
2. Open Door Policy
One of the reasons the restaurant business can feel so much like family is because more often than not staff, managers, and owners all work in the same space. The “open door policy” that most corporate offices have, doesn’t really work the same way if you’re manager doesn’t have a “door”. Even if you do not have a private office for staff members to come and speak with you at any time of any given work day, you can help by setting aside a set time each week for staff members to feel invited to come and speak with you about any issues. It’s also helpful to give your staff members a more private way to request a meeting with you. Consider posting a phone number, email address, or even anonymous text information poster in the staff room, anything that will help a staff member talk about issues, before acting out on them while on your floor.
3. Strategic Scheduling
You know your restaurant employees. You know who works best with whom, and that means from the kitchen to the front of house staff to the managers. Consider carefully when you put together the work schedules for the week. How can you make the most of the staff you have? Consider if there are some people who enjoy each others time more and work well together. Consider if there are some employees who could use more help during peak rush hours and perhaps that individual should be scheduled with someone who can help that employee during the shift. There is much to consider when scheduling for your restaurant, but by choosing whom you schedule and when carefully, you will make a more productive and enjoyable shift every time. Use What Time Do I Work for your scheduling needs to help you clear your lines of communication!