The Magic of Pre-Shift Meetings
Your restaurant functions best when your front and back of house staff work together to maximize productivity. Team building exercises and communication workshops can be one mode of bringing them closer together. Still, it doesn’t have to be much trouble: Restaurant managers all around are discovering the benefits of daily pre-shift meetings.
Unfortunately, putting so many different personalities together can cause interactions to get quickly out of hand or mean-spirited. It doesn’t help that the restaurant industry is often staffed by students and younger generations who haven’t matured as much as those who, say, might dominate an office setting. As a result, rumors get out of hand, especially with staff members working in such close quarters together for a majority of the time. Foster positive communication amongst employees, both in and outside of work, so everybody feels safe and welcomed while they’re on the clock.
Advantages of Daily Meetings
Your workers should be as well-informed about the daily goings-on in the restaurant, especially since the industry is so subject to change and trends. Staff meetings are an opportunity to switch to a work-focused mindset. Even if it’s only a five-minute check-in, daily briefings give workers a chance to get ready for the day, ask any questions they have, and get their priorities straight before the rush comes by.
Introduce new concepts, ideas, rules, and any other relevant information at these daily meetings, so all of your staff gets the same accurate information. With so many workers milling about, having news filter through the grapevine becomes a costly game of telephone. Release the same exact information to everyone, save time, and make sure they’re focused on meeting the day’s goals, whatever those might be. Clearly detail out your expectations, how you want things done, and any upcoming events at this point, too.
Drawing their focus can be difficult in hospitality; since employee demographics skew young, many workers feel like their position is just a short-term stepping stone to the “real career” they want. It’s hard to motivate them for a job they don’t care about or plan to stick by. You’ll need to encourage their work ethic yourself; often, a living wage is enough to convince workers to give each day their all, but you can also get creative and reframe their individual goals to align with management.
How do you know what your employees want? Not just professionally, but personally, too. It all matters. Talk to your staff and get to know them throughout the day working together. Understanding what’s essential to them lets you provide the tools they need to meet their professional goals. It simultaneously also helps you frame the business’s ambitions in a way that matters to each individual. This gets them all working together toward the same outcomes, which equals productivity and profits.
Use employee evaluations to expand on what you’ve learned and worked with each individual to determine what they need from you to succeed at their jobs. Open communication between management and the workforce puts workers on track to start the day right, with everyone’s focus shifted in the same direction.
Worth the Trouble?
Use pre-shift meetings every day to strengthen communication amongst management, back of the house, and front of house staff. When you’re all on the same page working toward the same business goals, your productivity will improve, waste and theft lessen, the staff is happier overall, and your profits soar.
Take the time out of your own and your staff’s day to have a daily meeting, so everybody meets the day right. It’s just a few minutes out of each morning. With similar goals, better communication, and more positive workplace relationships, your restaurant will be ready to start every shift, ready to make some magic.
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