Restaurant managers are always looking for new ways to make the day-to-day process of running their business easier. One way to do this is by utilizing performance-management techniques when evaluating staff to identify who is performing well, who may need some help, and who needs to be let go.
As a manager, hiring an employee doesn’t mean your job is over. Training must take place and periodically measuring employees' performance is critical in making sure the restaurant is running smoothly.
Having worked as a business coach and consultant for over 30 years at Waters Business Consulting Group, I have helped many restaurateurs with multiple performance management techniques. Here are a few of the techniques managers should use when evaluating their team.
Setting expectations is important when wanting to get the most out of staff members. When employees don’t understand the expectations of the manager, their performance can fall short. Give your team short and long-term goals. Check in with them at least once a week to make sure they are meeting those goals and offer feedback to help them reach the goals you have set.
While staff members work towards their goals, managers need to monitor key performance indicators to follow their progress. Modern point-of-sale systems will generate analytics on each employee so you can create actionable insights. Typical insights for restaurant staff include customer satisfaction, number of tables served, turnover rate, and how many specials are being sold. When an employee is meeting and even exceeding goals, you can decide how to incentivize them.
Weekly evaluations provide employees with important feedback necessary in helping them become better at their jobs. When noticing an employee going above and beyond in their position, then it may be time to reward them for their hard work. Common incentives include bonuses, awards, pay raises, and extra vacation time. It is up to the manager to determine the best incentives for their staff.
Creating a Performance-based Culture
Having a performance-based culture at your restaurant will keep your team working at high levels because they know the better they are performing, the more likely they are to receive the incentives you have in place.
Install a performance dashboard in the break room where staff can see their performance and their colleagues' performance. This helps each team member see where they stand and where they need improving. As the manager, it is your responsibility to update and review the dashboard on a weekly basis.
Restaurant managers need to create categories for each position. For servers and front-of-house staff, you should create categories such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, number of tables served, and positive reviews. Kitchen staff need a separate system such as number of returned dishes, prep times, and how long it takes food to reach the pass. Having this chart on display creates accountability. When employees look at the chart, they can see where they need to improve, and this will help boost their performance.
Managers must also add themselves to the charts so the team can see they are holding themselves accountable and are working to improve their work habits as well.
Restaurant Staff Monitoring
Installing the right point-of-sale system in your restaurant helps management evaluate staff members' performance. Having the right software in place can help managers track turnover rates, sales, number of customers served, and the overall efficiency of staff.
Maximizing the use of your point-of-sale system simplifies the management process for your restaurant and helps track opportunities where you can eliminate unnecessary costs.
Managing the performance of your staff isn’t an annual event. You need to be motivating team members every day. Management must also lead by example. As a manager, maintaining high standards inspires your staff to perform their best. When you are working hard and living up to expectations, staff members will take notice of the effort you are putting in, and it will encourage them even when you don’t realize it.
All managers need to create a productive work environment. Work with employees to help them understand that when the individuals succeed, the overall team succeeds, and in turn, the business succeeds.
Restaurant staff performance helps drive the business towards success. If the team is performing their tasks at a high level, then you can be sure your customers are happy and likely to return to the restaurant. Using performance-enhancing techniques keeps the expectations of staff at optimal levels and provides management with better overall performance from the team, which helps drive sales and customer service.
John Waters is the Principal of Waters Business Consulting Group, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona. Waters is an expert in helping business owners and management teams grow their business.
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