My only goal with any of these posts is to make sure people have pleasant experiences when eating out. I like to think that anything I say can be applied to just about any establishment.
Is the bartender busy? Jump back there and wash some glassware. Get them some more ice. See if those customers sitting at the bar need another drink.
Is the busser having difficulty keeping up? Grab a water pitcher and fill everyone’s water. Go restock his station so he has plenty of clean silverware and glassware. Go clear the dirty dishes off of a table. Go reset a table.
Is the server freaking out? See if you can take an order for them. Open that bottle of wine for them. Go serve the food that is sitting in the kitchen pick-up window.
A good manager
I have written before on how effective a good manager can be.
Be that good manager. Recognize the needs of your establishment, the needs of your employees, and fill those holes. That is what a manager is supposed to do. Not stand around pointing and yelling.
I have consulted with many clients who, for some reason or another, think they can get by without having a manager. That has also been true of restaurants I have eaten at. It doesn’t work. It simply is not a good idea if you want to have a ‘successful’ restaurant.
It would be possible if the owner was around and helping out where needed. But this notion that you can pay an employee fifty cents more an hour to be a supervisor just won’t cut it.
The staff needs an authority figure
The employees need that person who keeps them on task. They need that leader who they know they can count on in times of need.
Don’t skimp here. Hire a manager. Make sure they are on the floor at all times of service making sure things go as smoothly as possible. It might cost you a little dough, but will pay dividends in the long run. You will have happier, more engaged employees, and customers who are enjoying themselves and coming back for more.