Create a culture. That is your best recipe for success. Higher the right people, train them, and then make sure you are sending the right messages with your actions. Your behavior will set the tone for your employees.
If you are standing around doing very little work, what do you think your employees are going to do? That’s right, as little as possible. If you sit there and complain about the customers, how do you expect your staff will behave towards customers? Right again.
Obviously (well, maybe not to some), you don’t want to create a negative culture. That will just lead to many things. Like blame. Or excuses. Or my favorite, “It’s not my job…”
Here is an example: A customer sends her salmon back because she wants it cooked a bit more. THE CHEF COMES OUT FROM BEHIND THE LINE LOOKING, TRYING TO DETERMINE WHICH CUSTOMER IT WAS THAT DARED TO SEND FOOD BACK. This is actually a true story that I witnessed. In the chef’s mind the salmon was cooked perfectly and needs no further attention. Forget that the customer likes her fish a certain way and is spending a lot of money on it. This is the kind of thing that leads to a negative culture.
This is what you want to create, or influence in your restaurant. This will lead to great teamwork and communication with your staff. Imagine a kitchen that is approachable by your servers when they have a question or concern. Imagine a wait staff that is respectful of the hard work your cooks are throwing down…
When you have a positive culture, there is respect, and your employees are engaged. Happy. And let’s always remember that a happy staff leads to happy customers. Customers who are happy come back again and again and spend lots of money.
Starts with you
I know I have never mentioned that before. It starts with you! Provide your staff with food. Good food. In fact, let them try menu items. If they are eating the chef’s food occasionally, they will be able to talk about it to the customers, and therefore, sell more.
Buy them a shift drink. A shift drink. Not two. You want them to get along? Respect the kitchen? Treat customers well? Respect them! Know their names. Use their names.
Like I said at the top of this post–if you want to have a successful business, filled with a happy staff, and a lot of paying customers–create that culture.