Restaurant businesses are incredibly stressful and there are a lot of moving parts to get right. Naturally, the food is important but it’s the front of house that makes the biggest difference because they dictate the overall customer experience. Your servers are working at a hundred miles an hour trying to greet guests, take orders, deliver food and drink, and take payments. Juggling all of this can be incredibly difficult and when your servers are stressed out, they don’t perform at their best. If you want to improve the restaurant experience, you need to find ways to make things easier on your servers. That way, they can dedicate more time to customers and when they are not burned out after every shift, their wellbeing will be drastically improved.
This is especially important right now because the hospitality industry has seen a lot of issues with labor shortages in the last few months due to people leaving positions. If you run a restaurant business, these are some of the best ways to create a stress-free environment for your servers.
Manage Schedules Properly
Often, servers are stressed out because there simply isn’t enough of them working. If you have a very busy shift and there are only a few servers on, they end up doing the job of two people. They’re incredibly stressed and the customers aren’t happy because things don’t run smoothly. Sometimes, restaurant owners try to operate with minimal staff to save money but it could also be because schedules are not managed properly. It is important to look at your average sales and determine when your busiest periods are so you can build a working schedule and ensure that you always have enough servers working. When writing schedules, make sure to account for the fact that everybody needs to take breaks too. If your servers don’t get regular breaks, they will get burned out very quickly.
Rethink Your Table Layout
The table layout makes a huge difference to your servers. If there are tables that are out of the way, this involves a lot of back and forth. But if tables are arranged in the right way, servers can do a quick loop, taking orders and payments and delivering food quickly. So, speak to your servers and see whether you could rearrange the tables in a way that improves things for them. As you prepare to operate your restaurant in a post-COVID world, you may need to rethink the table layout to improve safety, so consider this too.
Improve Payment Systems
Taking payments often holds things up. If you only have one old-fashioned card machine, the server needs to wait until it’s free then do a lot of back and forth to take the payments. This slows down table turnover and makes things more difficult for your servers. You can make things a lot less stressful for them if you improve your payment systems. Using small card readers that can easily take contactless payments at the table will streamline the whole process. If you integrate payment processing for restaurants with tablets for taking orders, you can manage the whole customer journey on one single device. Reducing the time spent taking payments means that servers can get on with more important tasks.
Hold Pre-Shift Meetings
Before you open your doors to customers, you should always have a quick meeting with your servers. They know better than anybody what is going on in front of house, so you should always get their insights by holding a pre-shift meeting. Ask if there are any issues and what changes you can make to make their life easier. You can get a lot of good information and make alterations to constantly improve efficiency. These meetings also show your staff that you are invested in their wellbeing and you are always looking for ways to make things better for them. Knowing that they have the support of their boss makes people feel much less stressed at work.
Trust Your Servers
A lot of people make the mistake of micromanaging their servers and that only makes things worse. When you have somebody breathing down your neck and trying to tell you how to do things, it creates a lot of stress. The thing is, they are the ones that are serving customers every shift, so they know what they are doing better than you. Everybody will be a lot more relaxed if you trust your servers to do their job.
Take these steps to create a stress-free environment for your servers and they will be so much more efficient.
Image | Source