June 25, 2024

The Customer Experience: What Is Happening on the Floor?

Every restaurant owner knows that the customer experience is at the forefront of success. Loyalty, repeat business, word-of-mouth play into favor when a customer has an amazing experience, which means the frontline team’s performance is critical. So how do you know what’s happening on the floor? How do you retain good talent and keep them motivated?

Critical components to creating rockstar shifts:

  • Open communication & feedback loops
  • Healthy competition
  • Informed training
  • Performance & schedule transparency

Open Communication & Feedback Loops

Seamless communication from the back office through all levels of teams to the frontline servers is not only necessary but can make all the difference in the customer experience. Basics such as order accuracy, table management, timely service, stock and supplies, and handling complaints are mainly handled through the verbal messenger chain during a shift or through walkies. But what about the rest of the team? Those that are not working that day or some that are back office may not get updates from other shifts or some information may not be transferred accurately to the next group coming in. 

Many restaurants stumble over the communication hub piece of the puzzle. There are some that are not talking to others or relying on inefficient ways to distribute information. Axial Hub will solve that by keeping all communication, in real-time, to anyone in the company in the same place. Filtered conversations, announcements, shift & menu changes, and, yes, shift praise for individuals can all be accomplished within the Axial app on any mobile device. Answer questions and provide support on the spot when it is needed most.

And bonus! It benefits team morale, professionalism, conflict resolution and identifies speed bumps and gaps in the system.

Healthy Competition

No one likes to lose. And many don’t like to be below average. By fostering a competitive yet supportive environment, restaurant staff can thrive, leading to better individual performance, enhanced team dynamics, and an overall improvement in the quality of service provided to customers.

Winning or performing well in a competition provides personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement, contributing to overall job fulfillment. It can boost an individual’s confidence and encourage them to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Great performance generally leads to recognition, promotions, and career advancement opportunities within the restaurant or the broader hospitality industry.

Sales contests in a great way to influence team bonding. Average team members will look to those that are outperforming and raise the level of their game to compete. Team challenges not only provide a cross-training opportunity, but it also builds motivation for the entire staff. As a general manager, an operations lead, or HR there is the opportunity to make the work environment more dynamic, fostering higher engagement and more attention to detail. This all leads to the critical positive experience all restaurants want for their customers.

Challenges and contests can be tedious to manage without the right tools. Not only does performance need to be tracked, but there needs to be visibility to the team, in real-time, so they can see how they are doing throughout the shift. Axial Shift’s Challenges can be set up in a few clicks for all locations or some locations. The team can see their in-shift rankings as items are sold and adjust their own conversations with customers to influence their performance in the moment. 

Informed Training

Training and development teams leverage feedback to guarantee training programs are pertinent, accurate, and focused on driving bottom-line results. Some frontliners may be struggling with knowledge of a certain beverage or food, how to upsell without feeling intrusive, or even how to handle cranky customers. Different talent means different strengths and individual opportunities to elevate weaknesses.

Personal performance dashboards provide the information needed to tailor training for those that need certain support. Average ticket amounts, lost sales, tip percentages all 

indicate performance triggers – points where intervening could support an employee to grow. Simultaneously, training costs are reduced as they are now data-based decisions instead of uninformed and overarching. 

Performance & Schedule Transparency

Want to retain good talent? In the hospitality industry, the notoriously high turnover rates can be exhausting. The number one reason staff leave is unstable income. Others include toxic work environments, unsupportive managers, no growth opportunities, and unpredictable schedules. 

Investing in solutions to combat turnover will help you keep good people at your business – ones that become champions for your brand and care about your success. That data you need is all there, usually in your POS system and other support platforms for finance. Bring it all together to provide individualized dashboards that update in-shift and are delivered to each frontline employee via the mobile app. 

Metrics such as sales, tip percentages, lost sales, rankings, contest results – all provide guidance and transparency. Layer on the communication hub and informed training and your team is now fully equipped to win each shift and maximize their earning potential. 

Bonus here too! Scheduling is available via the Axial app. Reduce your tech stack and create templated schedules that are automatically visible to the team. Give the team their own responsibility and opportunity to swap shifts all in one place, eliminating mass texts and phone calls.

Axial Shift – It’s Your Data. Use it to Support the Frontline.

Your business is only as successful as the experience provided to your customers and clients. Reduce the number of hours pulling custom reports, analyzing data from multiple sources, and providing irrelevant training. Be in the know, in-shift, to make quick decisions, provide individual support, and keep your team motivated and excited to come to work every day. Axial Shift creates the space for all these critical pieces to come together – and it only takes a few minutes to set up. Contact us today for a quick demo.

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