I know many of us may have taken a big sigh of relief when we heard about the injunction, but many more of us had already taken action in preparation for the change. Many have altered the pay of managers from salary to hourly or have increased base pay above the threshold - something not so easily reversed.
There is some uncertainty as to what to expect, since it appears the federal government is already looking into their legal opportunities to remove the injunction.
So where does this leave us? No matter if you have already taken action in preparation for the labor law or not, we want to continue to grow. Happy employees means decreased turnover. We cannot control federal dictates, so let’s focus on the parts of our business we can control.
Once you have the proper restaurant systems in place, your employees will take notice.
The Solution to Developing Restaurant Systems and Keeping Employees Happy
Interestingly enough, he has listed systems as the second mandate for success. However, utilizing efficient systems leads to improvements in all four remaining mandates.
Now I know many of you are thinking: "Every time I implement a new system, I get an ear full from my staff about how this system is another hurdle they have to jump through to complete their jobs."
Not to worry, these systems actually increase efficiency, improve operations, and make your employees even more productive.
Below, we are going to focus on two systems that can be easily implemented that your staff will absolutely love!
1. Online and Kiosk Ordering
Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was flew to Southern California on a Southwest flight. In my opinion, when it comes to service, Southwest has gotten in right.
When you walk into the terminal, the difference between Southwest and their competitors is evident beginning with check-in. For those travelers who want a window seat close to the door, there is early bird check-in for a small fee which allows you to receive the highest preference for boarding order.
Or maybe you - like me - are an easy-going traveler. You don’t care where you sit as long as you get to where you're going. This is where Southwest is leaps and bounds ahead of their competition: check-in kiosks! So maybe you didn’t check-in online and don’t want to carry your luggage through the airport. Just show up to the airport, walk up to a kiosk, swipe your ID, check your bag, and you are on your way to your gate.
The moral of the story is, customers want to choose their service experience!
This is just as true of the restaurant industry as it is of the travel industry. In the Restaurant Technology Report, almost 80% of survey respondents agree that technology improves their customer experience. If they want to be in and out on a 30 minute lunch break, they can order online and bypass the line in record time.
But what if they want to dine in, and want their order with certain modifications? By setting up restaurant kiosks with an intuitive interface, the customer is one step closer to getting what they want, how they want it, as quickly as possible.
Both online and kiosk ordering allow the customer to input their order, review and submit minimizing order errors.
With the implementation of these systems, we can drastically improve all 4 of the other mandates. Managers spend less time on overrides for canceled and voided orders and can focus on ticket accuracy in the kitchen. Employees no longer feel guilt or anxiety over whether they input an order correctly. They can now focus on completing an order before presenting it to the customer and giving customers a genuine thank you for their business.
2. Labor Scheduling with Mobile App Integration
Depending on your restaurant concept, employee scheduling anxiety comes in different forms, but some things are shared among all concept types.
Many restaurant employees share similar concerns about availability and communication because this may not be their only job, they're still in school, or they have family/childcare commitments.
Printed schedules are easily misplaced, and bulletin boards and pre-shift huddles are not the most effective way to broadcast announcements about scheduled training and required deadlines. You need a new solution for reaching your employees quickly and assuredly.
68% of Americans use smartphones these days. Easy access to internet in public places makes communication faster than ever.
So why not implement a scheduling system that works at the speed of life?
A smart restaurant scheduling system will be easy to use and train managers on, gives the option to print schedules, and posts schedules to an employee-accessible mobile app.
This system will provide forecasted sales and labor efficiency tools to assist the scheduling manager to stay within the locations budget and build schedules quickly. The system will collect each employee’s weekly availability to minimize scheduling errors. Printed schedules are easily legible for quick posting, but the magic starts with the mobile app integration.
The mobile app version allows managers and employees to communicate in real-time from anywhere. Managers can broadcast messages from their phone to all employees announcing training or requirement deadlines. They can see today’s posted schedule and pull up a roster to call or text message an employee who is running late.
A labor scheduling system in conjunction with mobile apps puts the power of communication and schedule management in the palm of your hand. Leaders can broadcast messages from anywhere. Employees have no more excuses with easy access to their schedule and options to manage request off and shift trades proactively. Schedule/availability anxiety is minimized for all so focus can remain on excellence in service. But most of all, this labor management system makes your company a distinctive employer!
We may not be able to control federal mandates and life happenings, but we can take control of customer experience and manage a stress free work environment for our employees by implementing smart systems.
With better restaurant systems, you'll have leadership, excellence, service, and distinction within your grasp!
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