On a scale of 1 to 5, how complicated would you rate your life as a restaurateur?
1 – “This is a breeze!”
2 – “I get the occasional cold feet before heading into work, but overall it’s fine.”
3 – “Eh, it’s not so hot right now, but it could probably be a lot worse… Right?”
4 – “I put out fires all… day… long…”
5 – “Just drop me in that lobster pot ‘cause I’m done.”
Hopefully, most of you restaurant managers and operators only rate yourself somewhere around a 1 or 2. Anything more than that should raise a red flag. Work-related stress and employee burnout can be huge killers for your restaurant operations, employee morale, as well as guest satisfaction. If you find yourself sweating the small stuff, medium stuff, and over-sized stuff, then you’ve got to find ways to KIS(S) it:
In honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, we’re sharing these five tips to help you simplify your life as a restaurateur and get yourself—and your business—back on track:
Tip #1: Be Predictable
Predictability is often confused with being boring. But you know what? When it comes to running a restaurant or business, predictability ensures structure and provides a more streamlined and regimented approach to getting things done. Consider the following ways you can make your operations run smoother with more predictability:
- Consolidate and conduct new employee onboarding on the same day each month.
- Develop an ongoing training schedule for new employees and old.
- Schedule team meetings on the same day and time every month (or quarter).
- Perform employee reviews on the same day and time every quarter (or year).
- Create processes that are easy to follow and replicate for all locations and all positions.
Tip #2: Ditch the Paper
If you’re trying to simplify your life, one of the first areas to clean up is your desk. Paper is difficult to track down and keep organized, and you can’t easily carry paper throughout the restaurant or as you travel to other locations. If you want to be more productive, more efficient, and more effective as a manager or operator, ditch the paper and go digital. You’ll have real-time access to all the information you need and you can stop scrambling to find those important details at a moment’s notice.
Tip #3: Consolidate Your Tech
There is a lot that goes into managing a restaurant—especially when there is more than one location to look after. Going digital is a good start. But then you’ll need a way to consolidate as much of your technology as possible. By using less hardware, less software, and putting it all in the cloud, you and your team will have better insights into what’s going on across all locations, whenever and wherever you are. For simplified and enhanced visibility into your operations, this is a must.
Tip #4: Shorten Your To-Do List
Sadly, there isn’t some magic wand you can wave to rid yourself of all the competing priorities coming your way. Running a business is hard, there’s no way to get around that. But what you can do is trick yourself into seeing less of your tasks at once. By shortening your list of current responsibilities, you can better handle the day-to-day of managing your restaurant operations and stress less about everything else swirling around.
- Invest in a tool that will allow you to schedule ongoing and future tasks for later review and follow-up. Then take them off your current list.
- Truncate related tasks into a single digital checklist. For instance, let’s say you’re monitoring and managing the process of hiring for a new position. Rather than include each individual task on your To-Do list, tuck them into a separate checklist and work off of that. This will keep your To-Do list from getting bogged down with individual tasks that can’t all be done right away.
- Be realistic about what needs to be done and when. If you’re trying to run too many promotions because you want to take advantage of the Pokémon GO crowd, cut out the excess. You should know your audience well enough to know what they like, so focus on those efforts. No sense in driving yourself crazy by trying to do too much all at once.
Tip #5: Upgrade Regularly
Everything in your restaurant requires upgrades at some point: your technology, training process, menu, equipment, marketing, and even your team. Rather than wait for items to expire, training to go stale, customers to become bored, and your employee turnover to rise, develop a proactive system for keeping everything updated and refreshed regularly. It’ll save you the trouble of taking time away from running the business while you deal with a potentially urgent “fire”.
As a restaurateur, you know that the life you’ve chosen isn’t always going to be the easiest. Restaurants are a stressful place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do as much as possible to simplify your life—and your operations. If you’d like some more tips on how to do this or if you’re interested in finding out how Better Chains can help, contact us today.