6 Restaurant Employee Rules for Successful Operations
Posted on May 03, 2019 by Danny Leffel
Restaurants are founded on trust: customers’ trust that restaurant employees will properly handle their food and trust between the employer and employees. If either of these trusts is broken, the restaurant might not be profitable. Luckily, you and your team can take a few simple steps to ensure that the trust remains intact. Even if you’ve been running your business for a while, you should check out these six restaurant employee rules for successful operations.
1. Adhere to the Time-Off Request Protocol
If you don’t have any rules for time-off requests in place, you should think about implementing some, especially if you have a large team. Because it can get hectic fielding requests made through several different channels — in-person, by note, over the phone, etc. — managers will benefit from a centralized system. The Crew App allows team members to communicate with their managers when they need time off, and the managers can easily add it to the shared team calendar. Employees can also use the Crew App to communicate with other team members if they ever need to find someone to cover one of their shifts.
2. Exhibit Proper Manners and Communication Skills
Your restaurant may have some guidelines for how customers should be treated, such as welcoming them as soon as they walk through the door or serving them bread within a few minutes of them being seated. Be sure to enforce these rules often because they help brand your company and set expectations for return customers. In the same vein, communication should also be encouraged. Your team should be comfortable asking each other for help or letting their co-workers know when something needs to be done, such as bringing water to customers who have just arrived.
3. Practice Good Hygiene
This is one of the most important rules to follow in the restaurant business. No one wants to be around someone who is dirty (or looks dirty), but it’s incredibly important that those working in food service take particular care when it comes to their personal appearance and cleanliness. Good hygiene significantly factors into customers’ views of your restaurant, so be sure that your employee handbook has a section dedicated to grooming expectations for your staff. Aside from potential health code violations, poor cleanliness is one of the biggest reasons customers stay away from certain restaurants.
4. Work as a Team
In extreme cases, employees may try to one-up or sabotage each other. Reward employees who pitch in to help others, and make sure that everyone knows how to do at least one other job in the restaurant along with their primary one. If you’re ever short-staffed, this cross-training will make it more likely that someone else can jump in to pick up the slack.
Your seasoned employees can take care of training new hires on additional responsibilities. They’ll also be the ones you rely on to drive home the point that everyone should work as a team.
5. Behave Appropriately
If your restaurant does not have rules for handling inappropriate behavior from an employee or customer, you should consider creating them as soon as possible. The restaurant business is rife with opportunities for sexual harassment, so don’t make the mistake of waiting for an incident to happen before you institute rules. Your team should be aware of the rules, and the consequences for offenders should be severe. If they are not, you run the risk of your employees and customers feeling unsafe at your restaurant.
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6. Be Understanding
You don’t want to foster an environment where your employees hide their mistakes from you, so make sure you’re understanding when they mess up. No one is perfect, and everyone has off days. Although high-stress situations like restaurant management can make people irrational, you can set the tone for your company culture by allowing your employees the ability to mess up and learn from their mistakes. This, in turn, will lead your employees to be more understanding of the mistakes their co-workers make. Encouraging honesty and understanding will prevent small problems from becoming bigger ones.
Rules like the ones listed above protect your business, customers, and employees, so it’s important that they’re enforced. If you’ve never experienced an issue that one of these rules would fix, count yourself lucky and add them to your restaurant’s handbook before you do. It is much easier to take on a new problem if you’ve already thought through the steps for how to handle it.