Running a restaurant is definitely not an easy task! Making sure you comply with all state rules and regulations in regards to COVID and other restaurant codes is crucial to successfully running a restaurant. To streamline and simplify internal processes and operations, it’s important to take advantage and implement the use of an employee management app. These management apps can assist you in COVID compliance, training and onboarding new employees, scheduling and even communication.
Running a restaurant profitably also requires that your guest experience and service goes above and beyond. In addition, to keep your regulars coming back it’s imperative that you keep your food and service consistent.
Here’s a list of 7 tips and tools you can use to help you learn how to run a restaurant successfully in 2021. With a dash of hard work and a sprinkle of patience, you will be able to elevate your restaurant business to the next level.
Comply with all state rules, regulations and COVID protocols
To safeguard and protect your employees and customers during COVID, it’s really important as a restaurant owner that you follow all state rules and regulations.
- Make sure all people within the restaurant are following social distancing guidelines; employees and customers must be 6 feet apart at all times. Place signs up within the restaurant to promote social distancing.
- Explain to your employees about when they should stay home and why it’s important. If you have an employee who is feeling sick or has had recent close contact with someone who has tested COVID positive, it’s important to make sure they don’t come to work and potentially infect others. In addition, follow the CDC’s criteria for when an employee can return to work after they’ve been sick or if they have had recent close contact with someone who is sick.
- Make sure your employees are wearing masks to help reduce the spread of COVID. It is “recommended for employees and for customers as much as possible when not eating or drinking and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”. Additionally, it is advisable that employees not touch their masks once they’re on and if an employee does they “should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching masks on their faces”. By ensuring employees are following these health guidelines, you also put your customers at ease and make them feel that you respect and are concerned for everyone’s health.
- As a restaurant owner, you should also be making sure employees are regularly washing hands and following good hygiene practices. For example, have employees wash their hands “before, during, and after preparing food; after touching garbage with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence”. Gloves should also be worn by employees who are taking out garbage bags or handling trash, handling service items that have been used or are dirty with food or when they are cleaning or sterilizing surfaces.
- Remind employees to cover their masks with a tissue if they are coughing or sneezing or to “use the inside of their elbow” and immediately wash their hands after.
- Make sure items that are frequently touched or items that are shared by employees and customers are being cleaned and disinfected regularly. For example, “door handles, cash registers, workstations, sink handles, bathroom stalls” should all be cleaned at least once daily to avoid transmission of germs. In addition, tables, bars, countertops, trays and condiment holders should be cleaned after each use.
- Proper ventilation is also super important when it comes to reducing transmission risk in restaurants. Open windows and “increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, whenever feasible”. If you have air filters or an HVAC system, make sure filters are cleaned regularly as well.
To find your state’s specific rules and regulations simply do a quick Google search for the necessary compliance requirements.
Connecteam pro tip: With the connecteam employee management app you can create fully customizable, digital read and sign forms. Create a COVID employee form to ensure they don’t have a fever before coming into the restaurant. You will receive a real-time notification once your employee has signed and submitted it through the app.
Streamline internal processes and operations with a digital employee management app
With all these new changes in the last year it’s helpful for any business owner, especially those who own a restaurant, to implement the use of an employee management app like Connecteam. Instead of using 4-5 different types of softwares and apps to manage employees; everything from scheduling, communication, time tracking, payroll and even onboarding can be done directly on the Connecteam app. Whether you send out a daily COVID read and sign form to employees to ensure they don’t have a fever or a daily restaurant opening workflow, an employee management app will surely steameline your daily operations and internal processes.
Some of the ways Connecteam will help you more effectively and efficiently run your restaurant include:
- Job Scheduling; simplify scheduling and avoid back and forth communication with advanced features such as templates, drag and drop or by creating recurring shifts. Push-notifications will be sent to you once a shift is covered and employees can even claim open shifts if needed. Everything can be managed from the phone when you’re on the go, making scheduling easier than ever before.
- Automate your time tracking and simplify the payroll process with a digital time clock. With a digital time clock you can see in real time when and where an employee clocked in or out. In addition, you can add a Geo-fence feature so that employees cannot clock in until they’ve reached the clock in location. Digital time clocks reduce time theft, buddy punching and payroll mistakes to help you save time and money during the payroll process. Employees can use the digital time clock to request days off or track employee absences. If your employee forgot to clock in, don’t worry, an automated reminder will notify your employee that it’s time to clock in and start working!
- Get rid of pen and paper and create fully customizable workflows, checklists and reports right in the palm of your hand. Automated reminders will be sent to employees who forget to submit their workflow at the end of the day. Everything is stored online and with unlimited storage capabilities your employees no longer have to carry around heavy binders or booklets full of papers. For example, create a daily restaurant cleaning checklists so employees know exactly what they need to do when they arrive at the job.
- From your mobile device, you can also easily and quickly create one off tasks for one employee or a group of employees. For instance, you can quickly send an employee a task to take out the trash and in real time you will be notified as soon as it’s done. Managers can also receive live reports from these tasks or checklists to better understand what their employees are doing at any given time. Users can even communicate through tasks with comments, notifications and check the status of the task progress. Once your employees are finished with their tasks they can easily report their completion and you will be notified in real time.
- A training and knowledge center makes onboarding and training employees a walk in the park. Create customizable quizzes for training and monitor your employees progress through the training material to ensure they are understanding. Training can be done at the employee’s own pace directly on their mobile device. Customize quizzes and onboarding content with videos, texts and GIFS to keep it interesting!
- A knowledge center with all important forms, notes and documents for easy access at any time. For example, upload your restaurant’s menu so that employees always have that information available at all times and directly located on their phone. That way if a new employee has any questions about the ingredients of a certain dish they can easily refer to their connecteam mobile app and answer their own question.
- An in-app chat feature allows for either one-on-one messaging or group messages. Easily and efficiently communicate with your whole staff at the touch of button. You can even create smart groups; if your restaurant has more than one location you can send specific messages to different smart groups based on location. Send videos, images, GIFS and voice notes all within the Connect employee management app. Keeping an open line of communication with employees boosts company morale, employee engagement and motivation. Media and conversations will never be directly stored on your employees phone and conversations cannot be exported or saved when an employee is no longer with the company.
Join Thousands Of Restaurants Who Trust Connecteam
Connecteam is the best tool to manage restaurant employees. Easily create job schedules, customize workflows, train and onboard new employees, efficiently communicate with employees with the in-app chat and so much more!
Educate and train staff
Educating your staff on proper COVID protocols as well as how to provide exceptional service will solidify your restaurant’s success. Properly training employees, according to a Forbes article, reduces employee turnover, increases productivity, creates more efficient employees and increases employee morale.
In addition, now that the world is slowly reopening and recovering from the global pandemic, there will be an influx of the younger generation into the workforce and especially the restaurant industry. It’s important to give them the tools they are familiar with to help them succeed. For example, the Connecteam employee management app is perfect for training and onboarding new employees – especially millennials, as it speaks their technological language.
Here are a few tips on what to focus on in restaurant training:
- Make sure all employees are given the time to get very familiar with all aspects of the menu and how they should describe the dishes on the menu to diners.
- Make sure you show your employees know how to set the table, how to upsell to diners, how to run food to tables and how to properly fill out orders and special requests.
- Give new employees the chance to shadow more experienced staff members so they can learn from the champs! Let new employees shadow to learn how to serve a table, how to schedule reservations, how to properly clear a table during and after a meal and how to use the restaurant’s POS system.
As mentioned above, giving your employees the proper training will increase their motivation, productivity and efficiency. Lastly, an Upserve article notes that it’s important to remember “in order to be the best they can be, your staff should be attentive to guests and also outwardly display the personality and professionalism that your restaurant expects. A good staff training program will be a 50:50 split between those two skills, mixed with knowledge of the menu and restaurant”. Making sure staff can comfortably and adequately communicate with each other is another important aspect to running a restaurant successfully.
Connecteam pro tip: The Connecteam employee management app allows for effortless, fully customizable training courses, quizzes and knowledge centers. Let employees progress through the training at their own pace, right in the palm of their hand. Easily track your employees progress and receive a notification upon completion.
Ensure open communication among all staff members
Open communication is another important facet to running a restaurant successfully. There must always be an open door communication policy where employees feel capable to speak to management at any time. A Forbes article mentions, if you don’t keep your employees in the loop it “demonstrates a lack of confidence and can lead to distrust. The best way to prevent this is to practice open, transparent communication”. Communication and employee feedback is a great way to let your employees know that their voice is heard and their ideas matter. There are always ways you can improve your restaurant business and fostering open communication and feedback is a surefire way to develop and enhance your business.
Connecteam pro tip: With the Connecteam app you can send one-on-one messages to employees or even group messages! Include GIFS, photos and videos to create fun and engaging content to promote communication across your whole team!
Make sure guest experience and service is one of your top priorities
Now that restaurants are reopening after the closures during the global pandemic, people are ready to enjoy being served again. It’s important to make sure your guests have an exceptional dining experience.
You should imagine that the guest experience begins as soon as the guest parks the car and ends once they’ve left the restaurant. Everything in between, from how they are seated, the service quality, quality of food and beverages and payment should showcase your restaurant’s exceptional service standards. King Street Kitchen, with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant business, mentions there are 3 main qualities that make an outstanding dining experience. First, the food of course must be delicious. Second, the service must be outstanding, no one likes to wait for hours to get their meal, so be sure you also have “polite, attentive waiters and welcoming staff immediately establish a mood, and by making diners feel cared for, they’re enhancing the experience even more”. Third, make sure your restaurant has a nice atmosphere and ambience. Simple changes to lighting, decor and table settings make a huge difference in the restaurant’s atmosphere.
Lastly, it’s also crucial you keep up with all these changes and stay consistent in their practice. An article by Upserve notes, “consistency defines and manages expectations. It tells both guests and the staff that you can trust us, that we’re not going to surprise you or pull the rug from beneath you”. You can easily lose repeating customers if the consistency of your service is lacking. Make sure your guests know that when they come to your restaurant for that specific taste and experience they’re craving, that they get it everytime.
Take advantage of takeout and delivery as the new norm
After the global pandemic hit restaurants hard this past year, delivery and take away have become the new norm. Take advantage of this change. A Restaurant Business article argues that “when restrictions eventually disappear, potentially many months down the road, many diners may have permanently changed their habits, opting to embrace the convenience of delivery over the traditional on-premise dinner”.
With this in mind, remember to be open to the fact that people may prefer this new change to their dining experience and determine whether or not it will fit your restaurant’s business model in order to be successful.
Now That You’ve Learned How To Run A Restaurant Successfully…
Remember to stay in compliance with all state regulations and protocols in regard to COVID and basic health codes. Make sure you use an employee management app like Connecteam to help streamline and simplify your internal processes and daily operations. Running a restaurant takes a lot of work, so having an employee management app that can manage almost every part of your restaurant business will definitely help in your path to success.
Ensure that all of your employees receive the proper training, keep them educated and up to date on all important announcements and information that is relevant to them. In addition to this, make sure you foster and promote open and clear communication among your employees. Make sure your employees feel comfortable talking to management and that their voice is heard! Your guest service and dining experience must also be top notch from the moment guests arrive until they walk out the door.
Lastly, take advantage of take away and delivery as the new norm after the global pandemic. Some new habits, like ordering delivery, will be here to stay. Don’t lose customers by canceling your take out and delivery orders, instead move forward and embrace the change that occurred in the restaurant industry in 2020.
Restaurants Use Connecteam to Manage All Their Daily Operations!
In the click of a button, you can easily track your employee’s work hours, create an effective schedule and manage payroll. But Connecteam doesn’t stop there, each plan includes features that allow for easy communication, surveys, engagement, training, on-boarding, checklists and forms and so much more.