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Balancing Act: Tips for Effective Customer and Staff Management in Hospitality



As a hospitality management professional, multitasking is a necessary skill in your day-to-day operations. However, juggling the needs of both customers and staff can be overwhelming, making it difficult to serve food effectively during busy shifts. In this article, we will explore the unique challenges faced when managing customers and staff in the restaurant industry and provide some tips for finding balance.


The Challenges of Multitasking:


  1. Juggling Chainsaws:


Managing customers and staff in the food service industry can often feel like juggling chainsaws. The delicate process of managing people and fulfilling the wants and needs of customers is both demanding and stressful. However, studies suggest that multitasking is not an effective approach for getting things done.


  1. Multitasking Inefficiency:


According to Very Well Mind, multitaskers have more trouble tuning out distractions and are less effective compared to those who focus on one task at a time. Switching between multiple tasks simultaneously not only slows you down but also impairs your effectiveness.


Finding Balance:


  1. Slow Down and Prioritize:


To reduce stress, try slowing down and focusing on one task at a time. Concentrate on the top priority in the moment, completing it before moving on to the next. By taking each task one by one, you can avoid the frustrations that come from handling multiple tasks but not completing any of them.


  1. Train Staff Effectively:


Invest time in fully training your staff before customers arrive. By properly equipping your restaurant wait staff to handle customers, you can delegate some responsibilities and alleviate pressure on management during food service. Effective delegation can create a more efficient workflow and improve overall customer experience.


  1. Reflect and Improve:


After each shift, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what could be improved upon. Engage in conversations with your staff for just 10 minutes, discussing areas for growth. This continuous improvement approach will foster a collaborative environment and lead to enhanced performance.


  1. Take a Break:


When faced with simultaneous crises, step away briefly to regain composure. Take a deep breath and clear your mind before tackling the next problem at hand. Spend a moment in the kitchen stretching or counting to five, avoiding distractions like checking email or looking at your phone. This brief pause will help you maintain focus and approach challenges with a clear mind.




Managing customers and staff in the restaurant industry requires exceptional multitasking skills. However, relying too heavily on multitasking can lead to decreased effectiveness and increased stress. By prioritizing tasks, training staff effectively, reflecting on performance, and taking brief breaks when needed, you can find a better balance between serving customers and managing your staff. If you’re looking for more management tips and assistance, our restaurant industry experts are here to help supplement your existing staff and redistribute the workload.


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