On a daily basis, restaurant managers must deal with different responsibilities pertaining to the smooth functioning of their establishment. These include checking the back of house and front of house operations as well as managing inventory, addressing customer needs, overseeing the quality of food, staff, service, etc., each with their own distinct obstacles and unique needs. Many restaurant management companies stress on the importance of time management, since running a restaurant often requires dealing with multiple tasks, all at once.
Here are some pointers to plan out a strategy for efficient time management in your restaurant:
1) Plan in advance: Managing a restaurant can become an overwhelming task if the manager has not planned in advance. It is important for managers to find time during, or before the start of each week, to create an action plan for the week. This usually would not take more than an hour or so, and will allow the manager to prioritize all tasks in order of their importance.
2) Elaborate job expectations: It is the manager’s responsibility to assign and oversee the staff’s daily duties. This includes the wait staff, the chefs and the cleaning staff as well, who need to be aware of what is expected from each of them. The manager can create a task-list or checklist to define each of their job roles and monitor the progress of the staff accordingly. By doing so, if any staff member lags behind or is not performing their duties up to par, the manager can address such issues immediately by referring to the list.
3) Integrate technology into the management process: Technology plays a major role in restaurant operations – from mobile apps to tablet-sized devices for placing orders, that can be used either by the staff or directly by the customers at their tables. Restaurant managers can push for technology, with tools to enable overall efficiency in the kitchen as well as in the front of house, which in itself will enhance the overall customer experience. Point of Sales (POS) or accounting softwares can help keep track of your restaurant’s operations and finances, while scheduling or tracking softwares could help you manage and monitoring the staff duties.
4) Maintain daily logs: While the managers are engaged with the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, there may be times when they miss out on a minor detail regarding certain tasks. Making note of these tasks on paper may seem feasible; but it can get quite problematic if they’re misplaced. Instead, it would be better to make use of the digital log book in the restaurant’s POS system. This can be a handy tool to track staff punctuality, customer complaints, current offers or store promotions being run, etc.
5) Track how the team spends their time: This includes tracking the managers’ own time as well as that of the staff. Managers should track how much time is spent on each task. Technology can help in scheduling staff, tracking specific activities and measuring labor costs effectively. In this manner, the owner and managers can make smart decisions to increase the efficiency in their restaurant, saving much time and money for the business.
Ultimately, it’s all about running an efficient restaurant, which is possible only if everyone’s time is properly managed and accounted for. If you need assistance in implementing the above processes in your restaurant, you may consider speaking to food and beverages consultants who would be able to offer their expertise for the same.
Ribbon Consulting specializes in assisting restaurant owners with all aspects of restaurant management, including efficient time management during daily operations, human resources, business development and much more. Reach out to us – the right time is now!