Ever wondered what makes the truly elite restaurants successful? How are organizations as large and complex as McDonalds and Chick-Fil-A able to achieve such high levels of consistency and operational excellence? These 3 strategies set great operationally efficient organizations apart:
Setting Goals and Monitoring Progress
What is the highest overarching goal for your organization? Is it to achieve $1.5M in per location sales? Or are you looking to successfully open 5 new stores next year? Whatever your goal is, pin it on your wall to make sure it’s the first thing you look at everyday. Next, pick out 5 goals that will help you achieve your overarching goal. These goals should be “stretch” goals – difficult but achievable. For example, let’s say you want to take per unit sales from $1.4M to $1.5M in a year. How could you go about doing this? Maybe make one of your goals to get your servers to offer appetizers and desserts to at least 90% of your guests. Then use a tool like Tuee to assess whether your servers are doing this. Another one of your goals could be to improve your social media presence. If so, how many followers do you want to have? How many times / day should you be posting to achieve that goal?
This simple goal setting and monitoring process can help turn your organization into a results-drive model of efficiency.
Building a Culture of Accountability
How can you make sure that the people in your organization are held accountable for their jobs? Sure you can set up job descriptions and evaluations, but that’s just the tip of the spear. Consider doing the following to create a culture of accountability:
- Use a shift scheduling service like ShiftZen to ensure that servers are held responsible for showing up on time for scheduled shifts. By doing this, you can ensure that your servers communicate their schedules to your managers and that your managers are always in the know about who is scheduled to show up. This solution in particular will hold your staff and managers accountable for shifts and will save everybody involved valuable time.
- Mandate that each staff member gets a certain number of comment cards filled out per shift. This will ensure that your staff knows they are being held accountable for their performance
- Implement a 360 degree feedback program where staff can periodically rate the managers and GM and where the managers / GM can rate corporate. This will ensure that every level of your organization is held accountable for their performance.
Training and Enforcement
Even if you embrace the two philosophies listed above, nothing will truly work unless you properly train your staff and enforce your training periodically. The most effective restaurant organizations have training teams that have standard processes for how to train staff. How long after a table is seated should you wait greet them? How often should you check in at a table? Do you know the menu thoroughly? All of these questions and more should be answered over and over again during a server’s initial training.
In order to enforce these habits, make sure you have a weekly “all-hands” meeting that is never canceled for any reason. This meeting should be used by the GM to ensure that key metrics are consistently being achieved. In addition, this time should be used to resolve any guest complaints and address any important action items for the coming week.
Running a restaurant organization is tough, but following these 3 strategies will ensure your organization is on a path to success.