May 10, 2019 |
The F&B industry is a tough business in many ways. Very few guests know how difficult a job in the catering industry can be, whether for service employees, chefs, bartenders or restaurant managers. Long days, overtime, competitive struggles and difficult working conditions give the industry a comparatively bad reputation among employees, which has an impact on the next generation of hospitality workforce.
For example, this can be seen in the declining number of trainees: Overall, the number of apprentices in the catering and hotel industry has fallen by 22% within the last 5 years. Restaurateurs are therefore required to go the extra mile in order to create more successful businesses and happier employees. In this first part of a two-part series we look some steps that restaurateurs can take to reach this goal.
1. Reflect and be critical
Some deficits can be seen immediately (guests are not visiting as frequent, the revenue figures are not optimal, etc.), others are visible only on the second or third view. Maybe you still do not know that you do not use your full potential, that you can get much more out of your venue?
In any case, it is worth questioning the current status at regular intervals and taking a look into the future: is what I do and how I do it, really going to grow my business and are the actions I am taking comparable to up-to-date industry standards? Only those who remain critical and sometimes leave their comfort zone can stand up to the competition in the long term and remain successful.
2. Have a solid foundation aka business plan
To measure success, you have to know where you come from and where you want to go. Defined goals and a business plan (including target / actual comparison), which clearly sums up all costs, provide clarity. Controlling is the keyword here! Can I save on personnel costs? Can the costs for the use of goods be reduced? How am I doing compared to my budget and forecasts? Excessive overheads have been the breaking point for many restaurateurs.
Ideally, you make a monthly comparison of set budget (target) and actual numbers (actual). When playing. Around with food costs, however, it goes without saying that you keep the quality level of your food and drinks, because changes in ingredients etc. are easily noticeable to regulars who then may not come back.
Potentials for optimisation in payroll costs for example. includes the use of tax-privileged regulations such as tax-free surcharges or voluntary employer benefits. There can be numerous ways of big savings here, depending on your country of business.
3. Human resources – workforce management
In terms of employee organization and shift planning, many restaurateurs still live in the last century. Shift schedules are often maintained manually, with WhatsApp groups or Excel spreadsheets and thus extremely laborious and time-consuming, without taking account of payroll and turnover figures. An unnecessarily inflated workforce is often a significant cost factor.
Today, there are various digital tools that help to handle everything related to human resources planning very efficiently and transparently: from shift schedules to sick leave and vacation arrangements to time recording with integrated payroll. Employees and employers are connected via software and app, so, for example, open shifts can be refilled at lightning speed. HR managers also always keep an eye on all costs, the employees are considerably more satisfied and an integrated evaluation guarantees control over the numbers and processes in a company.
4. Human resources – appreciative treatment of colleagues
The mood in your team has a 100% impact on the success of your business. Guests pay for a first-class experience. This is only possible with first-class service delivered by motivated staff. Be aware of the fact that qualified and happy employees are the key to success and treat them accordingly. If your team is happy, your guests will be happy which makes you as a business owner happy.
5. Human resources – team spirit and your role therein
The previously mentioned topic of employee satisfaction has many facets and you play a decisive role in it: Do you have a sense of team dynamics? As a manager, are you a role model for your colleagues? Be aware of your position as leader. No one is perfect and can shine on all levels, but you should make sure that your team is satisfied overall.
Even minimal changes such as occasional team building events, training opportunities, an internal reward system or an open feedback and communication culture can make a big difference. Be a consistent leader and push change when needed. This not only makes your venue more successful, but also makes you more satisfied and more balanced in the long run