On the off chance that you have a spare minute to take a break during this busy time of year, check out the hot topics for restaurant managers we’ve been tracking lately.
It’s no surprise that restaurant managers and operators are focused on the guest experience. With all the ups and downs the industry has faced over the past few years, keeping guests happy can feel a bit like a moving target. That’s why it’s so important to train your restaurant staff on the entire guest experience. Whether guests are dining in, taking an order to go, or just spending happy hour with you, the Cycle of Service starts when guests pull in the parking lot and ends when they drive away. Each point in the cycle is a moment of truth that could determine whether they’re giving you one star or five when they post that online review.
It’s one thing to get guests in the door, it’s a whole other thing to make a profit off their visit. Margins are so tight in the restaurant industry that increasing sales will always be on the list of hot topics for restaurant managers. The most important thing to remember is this: sales and service go hand in hand. When servers and bartenders know how to guide your guests, they’ll increase sales with add-ons and extras and improve service by delivering a custom experience that guests won’t forget.
The labor crunch doesn’t just affect you as a manager, it affects your entire team. Many operators have had to get creative to find candidates, hire them, and keep them. Effective restaurant teamwork can help fill in the gaps when you’re short-staffed, and it can help with staff retention, too. When your employees feel like they’re part of a team with a common mission, morale goes up and turnover goes down.
Speaking of morale and turnover, the environment you create for your employees can make or break your staffing goals. An unfortunate reality is that the restaurant industry is the single-largest source of sexual harassment charges filed by women with the EEOC. Harassment prevention training for your employees can go a long way toward creating and maintaining a respectful and productive work environment. At a minimum, employees should know your restaurant’s policy against harassment, what harassment looks like, how to report it, and protections against retaliation.
Effective Restaurant Leadership
You’re probably already a great restaurant manager or you wouldn’t be reading this, but no matter how great you are, there’s always room for improvement. Your entire leadership team should exhibit a commitment to excellence on every shift. Be strategic, proactive, and – this cannot be overstated – lead by example. Your employees are watching you, and how you treat them determines how they’ll treat your guests.
It All Starts With Training
Have these hot topics for restaurant managers been on your mind, lately, too? If so, welcome to the party. If not, you might want to put them on your list to tackle soon. If you’re not sure how to do that, think about how success in each of these areas starts with training your restaurant staff to exceed the expectations that you – and your guests – have for your restaurant. Our restaurant training series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more about our training delivered on the powerful trainingGrid® learning management system.