Service, Service, Service
Running a successful restaurant requires a dedicated team for both your kitchen and the dining area.
Typically, a kitchen requires:
- A head chef to organise and oversee food production.
- A sous chef to take care of the kitchen in the absence of the head chef.
- Line cooks to do the cooking and plating.
- Prep cooks to make sure the kitchen is fully prepared for service.
- A dishwasher to do the dishes and work on peeling vegetables.
The dining area requires:
- Bus boys to clear and set tables.
- Waiters and waitresses to take and deliver orders.
- A front of house (FOH) manager to deal with seating, supervise the team and manage the ordering efficiency.
There are 4 steps to make sure you get the right service staff for your restaurant:
- Choosing your staff
- Organising your staff
- Training your staff
- Retaining your staff
1. Choosing your staff
When hiring, look out for the following staff qualities:
- Hospitable – Show aptitude and sincerity to serve.
- Willingness to learn – Open to always learning new things.
- Enthusiastic – Happy workers mean happy customers.
- Work and educational experience in the same or related industries.
- Good communication skills.
- Being clean and presentable is important especially if it’s an open kitchen.
- FOH staff must always be properly groomed because they interact with guests and represent the restaurant.
2. Organising your staff
After hiring your staff, you have to organise the workflow and put them in their respective positions. Putting the right people in the right positions will ensure smoother kitchen operations. Once they’re organised, staff will be assigned to their stations. A recommended ratio is to have one service station for every 30 seats. Stations must include:
- Thermal pots
- Cleaning supplies
- Terminal and cheque printer
- Credit card verifier
Stations can be assigned through two methods:
- Seniority – Senior waiters are assigned to permanent stations where they have a relationship with regular diners.
- Rotation – Waiters are assigned to different stations at certain intervals to help them learn from all stations.
Here are tips on what well-trained staff should do!
- Show organisation and competency.
- Present themselves to guests and interact well.
- Anticipate the needs of guests.
- Take and serve orders properly.
- Re-set the table efficiently after each meal turnover.
3. Training your staff
Providing constant training for your staff will keep them feeling empowered and learning new skills to improve their craft. Here are areas to focus on when training your staff:
The parts and procedures of the meal
- Getting prepared to serve the guest.
- Taking a meal order.
- Serving the food.
- Presentation of guest check.
- Knowing the menu items.
- Learning the pronunciation of the dishes.
- Tasting the dishes so they can properly explain the flavours.
- Knowing the ingredients and preparation of the dishes.
- Knowing the business history, milestones and branches.
- Learning the layout of the restaurant, the different dining rooms, washrooms and waiting area.
With the right training, you’ll enjoy these benefits:
- Correct knowledge and empowerment
- Employee satisfaction and competence
- Superior service delivery
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer loyalty
- Higher sales and profit margins
4. Retaining your staff
Knowing how to retain your staff after hiring them is important too. Here are a few tips to help keep your staff happy:
- A healthy work environment – The workplace should be free from possible health problems and be conducive for work.
- Professional nourishment – Provide your employees with professional skills upgrades in forms of training, positive assessment, etc.
- Employee incentives – Offering incentives such as bonuses and sharing of service tips will motivate employees to work harder.
- Work-life balance – Work hours and schedule must be balanced with rest days so they feel invigorated to come back to work.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the Getting the Right People topic!
Continue on to the next topic, pick a related topic from the Service, Service, Service module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.