The restaurant industry is a people business, and the human element can’t be overstated. The most profitable restaurants understand this, and they emphasize regular communication with their staff.
A big component of this process is feedback. In general, people want to get graded based on what they contribute, they want to feel valued for their efforts, and they want to know where they stand. It sounds simple, but in most restaurants, servers and managers operate in a vacuum without accurate, timely, constructive, and focused feedback.
In the absence of having clear feedback, it’s human nature for people to begin telling themselves stories and speculating worst-case scenarios because they don’t know what is really going on. In any restaurant with high employee turnover and low morale, this happens more often than not.
Eliminating Subjective Feedback For Restaurant Employees
Motivation is closely tied to objective feedback.
When restaurant staff feel like they’re being evaluated based on squishy data or anecdotal observations, it’s de-motivating. But when they feel like there’s transparency around their performance – especially relative to their peers – and that their work is judged using objective data, that typically drives better outcomes because it’s empowering.
Restaurants already have data, and it’s relatively easy for operators to pull reports to show sales and tips, but these tell only part of the story. Numbers floating in the ether don’t mean a lot. Performance reporting is when you track data and measure it against a benchmark or expectation.
When restaurants provide performance reports, it makes a noticeable difference because staff have something to strive for. It creates some gamification and fosters a competitive spirit. It pushes everyone to try to beat the average. If everyone is trying to be above average, then the average moves up.
Performance tracking improves communication between restaurant staff and management because, instead of everyone having different expectations, they’re now aligned.
Changing these behaviors and building new habits in restaurants is easier said than done, but we started Axial Commerce with a passion for making this turnkey so restaurants can improve their employee experiences and, in turn, their financial results.