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!
5 Things You Should Be Doing On Twitter
Nowadays, everyone can be found on a social media channel, and keeping up with the times means you have to be on several channels. But Twitter still reigns in many social circles as the best and fastest way to get the news you want to hear without having to scroll through your old college roommates posts. Here are 5 things you should be doing on Twitter to make your experience there worthwhile.
Hashtags are a way of Twitter life. Words (or phrases) that start with a pound are automatically turned into a link. You can now search through all the tweets that also used the same hashtag. Use tags in your profile bio to help you be seen in searches. Example: My name’s #Bob and I’m a lover of all things #Pizza.
Create Follow Lists
Again, one of the best features of Twitter is that you decide whose tweets you want to see in your feed. You can also very easily divide your users into “Follow Lists” to help sort through the tweeting madness. Name your lists and then place the accounts you follow into the appropriate lists. For instance, you might have a list for your News, Friends, and Technology. Creating your lists will help keep your overall tweeting experience enjoyable.
Subscribe To Public Lists
Just as you have created Follow Lists, other users create lists as well. You can make these lists public and follow other account’s lists. If you follow Mashable for example, you can look at their 30 public lists. You can easily follow their entire staff members, or just their interns, or the Mashable staff members that are at SXSW. Can you understand what a gold mine public lists can be?!
Upload Videos and Photos
It’s a well-known fact; tweets with videos and pictures garner more attention than words only. The Twitter app allows 30 second video creations, but you can also use Vine or other apps to help you get more from your tweets. This is also important because it helps you say more than your 140-character limit!
The search bar in Twitter seems pretty harmless and humble, but with a little know how, you can open doors you didn’t know possible! Here are a few hacks for the Twitter search engine.
Operator: “happy hour” | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase “happy hour.”
Operator: love OR hate | Finds tweets: containing either “love” or “hate” (or both).
Operator: beer -wine | Finds tweets: containing “beer” but not “wine.”
Operator: #Puppies | Finds tweets: containing the hashtag “Puppies.”
Operator: “happy hour” near:”san francisco” | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase “happy hour” and sent near “san francisco.”
Twitter has a lot to offer as a social media channel. So use it to benefit you and your company! Feel free to share any tricks you might have as well. Also, check out our free 30 day trial on What Time Do I Work Software!
The 5 Best Ways to Optimize Your Company’s Finances
Optimizing your company’s finances is an important part of staying in business for the long term. This process is something business owners learn to do more efficiently over time. As they become better at handling large sums of money, a business owner will recognize the value of staying on top of their company’s finances and carefully scrutinizing the general flow of cash in and out of their business. Here are the five best methods for optimizing a company’s finances.
Knowing the Essential Operating Costs
To ensure that your company’s finances are operating at peak efficiency, it first requires that you have a solid grasp on your company’s essential operating costs. This means that, if push comes to shove, you want to determine the minimal amount of money required each quarter, month, week and day to keep your company up and running. After calculating items like rent, lights, payroll, and other factors your company will not be able to avoid paying out, this establishes a target amount that you will use to make sure your company is going to be able to handle its essential budgeting requirements. If your company is failing to bring in enough money to handle its weekly requirements, despite meeting its quarterly requirements, then adjustments to your operating costs may need to be introduced to ensure a more consistent financial outcome.
The Future Projections
It is not enough to ensure that your company will be alive and kicking at the end of the first quarter of operations. Your funding sources should be scrutinized in order to develop a financial plan to ensure that your company will be prepared to hold out for the next five years. Having a financial projection that meets this duration requirement, where you know how you are paying off all your operating costs well into the future, is important to getting your company over a critical financial hump. The reason this is critical is because most start-up companies never develop a proven financial strategy to meet such long term financial projections.
Cutting Wasteful Spending
If you notice that your company is spending money in areas that do not prove to generate considerable profit, then such spending will typically turn into nothing more than long term waste. It is your job, as controller of your company’s finances to spot and eliminate these wasteful spending habits. Every dollar wasted in unprofitable spending efforts literally translates to a financial loss.
Stop Mixing Personal and Business Finances Together
One of the temptations that business owners tend to have is that they use their company finances to carry out personal transactions. This generally tends to make for a growing financial mess and should be avoided at all costs. For example, if you are ordering checks, do not put your custom designer personal checks in as an item you pay for with company money. Once you figure out where to buy checks online, be sure to purchase them with your own money instead.
Use a Financial Consultant
Sometimes the trick to ensuring the best path to optimizing your company’s finances involves utilizing the services of a competent financial adviser. It may be the case that your particular niche industry produces special or even abnormal financial challenges. Using a consultant that has experience navigating through such niche specific challenges will be key to ensuring the best possible outcome for your company’s continued financial success.
The key to optimizing your company’s finances is more about getting down to basics than attempting to over-complicate matters. The more complicated your company’s financial situation gets, the more room there is for inefficiency to creep into the works. The straighter forward your company finances happen to be, the easier it is to spot any perceived financial problems and wasteful spending. This will make managing your company’s financial course far easier and profitable over the long term.
Turning Your Restaurant into the “Spot
You know you’ve watched Friend’s and wished you were sitting on that vintage couch, drinking coffee with the gang at Central Perk. And why wouldn’t you wish that? The Friends gang found their perfect spot: a table (with a reserved sign, if you never noticed) surrounded by comfy seating, enjoyable atmosphere, and a great menu. But have you ever wondered why they chose Central Perk as their favorite hangout? Sure, maybe it was because Rachel worked there, or because they lived upstairs.
But it also brings up some basic principles of being a great restaurant. Becoming a favorite spot isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some basic etiquette can quickly turn your restaurant into your guest’s favorite go to spot.
Invite Your Guest
Your restaurant is more than a restaurant; it’s the place people want to go when they aren’t at work, catch up with their best friends, or take their significant other out for a date. Your staff members are the gatekeepers of your doors, and everyone enjoys a friendly gatekeeper. Simply existing as a restaurant isn’t enough to become a favorite spot. Be an inviting restaurant. Smiles, greeting at the front door, and friendly service are all ways you can be inviting. Invite your guests to come, invite them to stay, and invite them to come again.
Remember Your Guest
Did your guest return? Remember them! Starting conversations and asking questions helps your guest feel welcome. And if you remember their answers, you’re winning at guest relations. Simple questions can help you in making your restaurant their favorite spot.
Some starting questions could be: Do they have a favorite table? What’s their favorite item on the menu? Do they have a favorite staff member that gives them great service?
Asking these types of questions (and remembering their answers) will help you tailor a perfect setting for your guest. Remember your guests and they will return!
Serve Your Guest
You’ve succeeded in making your guest feel invited, you’ve remembered their favorite table, now give them service that will make them want to return again and again.
Thankfully, unlike Central Perk, you own a business in the 21st century; there are so many digital options at your fingertips to help your service run smooth.
Using What Time Do I Work for your employee scheduling will ease your mind and give you more time to spend on the floor with your guests. It might even help avoid conflict with employees, which leads to happy employees and even happier clients.
OpenTable is a great option for your guests to let you know when they’re coming to visit, and to save their favorite table. Using digital technology in your restaurant gives you more control of your floor.
Your guests will become staples in your seats because they know what to expect when they visit: genuine and enjoyable service. Smiles at the door, their preferred table in the corner, their favorite server remembering their usual drink order, and it’s all uphill from there. Congratulations. You’ve just been chosen as your guest’s favorite “spot”.
Strive to give your guests dependable and enjoyable service that will make them love your restaurant and want to continue to return. Working closely with your staff members will ensure that your goals will be met.
Also, if you didn’t already know, Rachel wished Central Perk had used What Time Do I Work for their scheduling needs. It might evan have allowed her to spend more of her time focused on fixing her dating life!
Good luck helping your guests make the right choice to choose you as their favorite spot! Let us know how you make your restaurant your guests favorite go to spot.