Busy shifts are a common occurrence in the restaurant industry, but the cause of that busy feeling can vary. As operators, busy shifts can mean money coming in when you’re firing on all cylinders, or they can spell missed opportunities when you’re putting out fires left and right. When shifts feel busy but the outcome isn’t translating to restaurant profitability, then it’s time to figure out how to fix that. Below are some areas to focus on for ideal performance and a consistent guest experience that leads to restaurant profitability.
First, take a peek at your labor plan. If you don’t have enough people on shift, you’ll feel it. Half the battle of conquering a busy shift is knowing how to properly staff for optimal service. Spending time running around to cover for missing labor will create a domino effect on the rest of your operations.
When shifts feel busy, but the outcome isn’t translating to profitability, then it’s time to solve for the root of the chaos
Maximized time management
Next, figure out where you’re wasting time. So, if you didn’t have enough people on staff for the shift, you might’ve missed taking line checks before the rush. You can’t afford to be reactive when it comes to food temps being in the danger zone, or food quality being not up to snuff. Stocking levels and weight portions being in line fills the age-old adage, a stitch in time saves nine. Make sure you are set up for a successful shift. Line Checks should be taken prior to the shift. Better yet, if you’re managing your time well, you’ll have a line check schedule ready prior to every shift.
Utilizing a cloud-based line check in your operations allows you and your staff to better manage their time by understanding when to perform temperature checks, restock items, prep items, sanitize stations, and more in multiple locations. Creating schedules for each shift and station will drive a repeatable process across your teams and more broadly, your brand. Repeatable processes equip your teams with more time to focus on providing guests top-notch service.
During the height of service, take a second to get a “temperature check” of the environment your guests are walking into.
- Are your servers able to refill drinks, check on meal satisfaction, suggest dessert or other upsells?
- Is the kitchen staff in a rhythm from check entry to meal delivery?
- Do guests seem dissatisfied or are they pleased with their level of service and quality of food?
Take an objective look at service execution. Then, consider the pre-determining factors of what made that shift smooth or chaotic. Estimate whether these levels were due to staffing, restocking, sanitizing, or other factors that determine shift readiness.
After you’ve taken the time to evaluate your execution during the shift, dig up the data to validate what you’re seeing. Further, analyze your performance across a week or two to really begin identifying patterns.
Look into sales numbers weighed against labor dollars to dive into areas where you could’ve added or cut back staff for ideal performance. Then, leverage those numbers into your success plan for the next week or month.
Use waste reports to understand when, where and why waste is happening. Are there consistent misrings or incorrect preps happening? Use these opportunities to train staff on proper order entry or item prepping.
As with any task, adequately preparing sets you (and your staff) up for ultimate success. Executing service as ideally as possible means that you’re able to hit targets and manage costs. Done consistently? You’re operating in the restaurant profitability zone.
Equipping your teams with the proper technology tools to execute a flawless shift will go a long way toward reaching your profit goals. From line checks, labor scheduling, sales forecasting and enterprise reporting, you’ll be seeing the full story in no time. Use this data to make decisions that lead to exceptional outcomes.
Decision Logic is restaurant management software built by restaurateurs, for restaurateurs. Interested in learning more? Get in touch!