Plagued by over- and/or under- staffing issues?

20 Feb, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Learn how to solve this problem in under 350 words.

If your answer to this question is yes, then this article is for you. Over- and under- staffing can both significantly affect your bottom line, whether you realize it or not. If you are over-staffed, you are carrying a high labor cost for that shift, not to mention that you have staff standing around looking for something to do.

On the flip side, under-staffing may harm your customers’ experience, by inadvertently lowering the level of customer service your hardworking employees are available to provide. So, how can you solve this problem?

The answer has two parts: first you will need to pull together a report showing your sales by hour/day/week/month so you are able to determine the pattern of business you experience on a regular basis; some POS systems can pull together these reports for you. Once you have this information, you should use previous schedules to determine what shifts had an accurate staffing level. What Time Do I Work.com has built-in features that will help you make these decisions. Once you have the right number of staff on for each shift, you will see a more balanced labor cost and better customer experience.

There are 3 steps to creating an employee schedule to provide you with the best staffing levels:

  1. Know the productivity of your staff members – how many customers can each employee handle with a high level of customer service?
  2. Review your sales history to determine upcoming needs
  3. Create weekly schedules incorporating upcoming information (reservations, holidays, events, etc.)

Here is a short list of What Time Do I Work.com online scheduling software features that will help you with your staffing needs:

  • Automatic conflict alerts as you create the schedule
  • Automatic overtime alerts as you create the schedule
  • Calculate your labor costs as you create the schedule
  • Time-Off request populate automatically in the schedule
  • Post and communicate new and/or update schedules with the click of a button.

Try What Time Do I Work.com free for 30 days and see the difference it makes in your business.

 


Little Changes that will make a BIG Difference with Customer Service

17 Feb, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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In the food service, bar and nightclub industries you are selling more than just food and drinks to your patrons. While quality food and drinks are important, there are probably many other similar restaurants, bars or nightclubs in your area that offer similar selections. What you are truly selling is a solution to a problem and what distinguishes you from your competitors is the customer experience you provide. We have searched far and wide to provide you with the best advice for improving customer experiences.

The first place to start is to challenge your staff to provide more than expected for every customer during their scheduled shifts. Servers should ensure that customers’ drinks never get below 1/3 full, offer extra bread for extended waits,  and remember to always maintain eye contact and be personable when taking orders and interacting with customers.

You can really go above and beyond if you’re near a theater, sports area, etc., by asking your customers if they are in a rush and try to accommodate their limited time needs. Help your customers during the ordering process by pointing out deals on items that they are ordering. You can offer additional perks for your customers, such as tasting different foods and wines before ordering. You might make a little less on this sale, but they will be sure to return.  And if you have an unhappy customer, thank them for their honestly (they told you instead of someone else) and look for a simple way to rectify the situation.

Improving the customer experience does not rely solely on your staff. As a manager/owner there are ways you need to train and prepare your staff for success. Train your servers on how to handle different customers (large groups, first time visitors, families) so that they can provide a superior level of service to every customer. Another great tip is to fully train your staff on your menu, ensuring they can answer any questions. Ensure that you fully train your entire staff on your policies and procedures, as well as when to escalate situations to the manager.

Here are some of the items that each of your servers should know off the top of their head:

  • What foods are spicy
  • Ingredients in each dish
  • Items for special dietary requirements
  • Tasted all items including specials

The final crucial piece of the puzzle is all about scheduling. There is a tight line to walk to ensure that you have adequate staffing for all shifts (over- and under- staffing not only impacts your bottom line, but can seriously impact the customer experience). What Time Do I Work.com has reports and features that can help you determine the ideal coverage for each of your scheduled shifts. Check back here in our next edition to learn more about how What Time Do I Work.com helps to determine your staff requirements for each shift. Can’t wait? Click Here to try it out for yourself for 30 days in our no obligation free trial.