Good restaurant managers are at the heart of a great restaurant team. But the great ones bring that special “something” to the table. These are the managers that look for cutting edge techniques and talent. They seek to work smarter, not harder.
Most restaurant manager professionals accept a job knowing they will work long hours. It’s found in the invisible ink of their job descriptions. The good restaurant managers know they have to put in extra time. This is typically based on the number of fires they have to put out including:
- Scheduling staff
- Stepping in for a busser or server who didn’t show up
- Backing up a bartender who just cut off a customer because she had too much
- Fixing or scheduling an appliance to be fixed
- Planning a staff outing
- Checking sales numbers
- Chasing down product that was never delivered
- Meeting with an employee over an infraction
And the list goes on and on…
But studies have proven that working long hours over a period of time is dangerous for one’s health. This research shows that working long hours affect the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stress, and the probability of stroke. In addition, more studies are finding that productivity decreases after about 35 hours of work. Companies need to be looking at ways they can give managers the quality of life they deserve.
Turning To Technology
One way a business can help their managers decrease the amount of hours worked is to turn to technology – and it’s not that you have to invent anything new. The technology is there for the asking—then taking. Technology now exists for everything from order management software to air purification. The key is recognizing what most benefits your restaurant and particularly your managers.
Many hospitality establishments today are making the bold move into technology. In places where it was always thought that only a live person will do, technology is taking over. And it’s not just restaurants hoping to get an edge over the competition. Places like McDonalds, which signed a $300 million deal to develop AI-driven personalized menus is doing it. Others like White Castle with its robotic fry station handler are leaning on technology.
Buffalo Wild Wings is experimenting with a similar product with its Flippy Wings. The product make by Miso Robotics is said to have increased productivity at the chain’s restaurants by 20%.
The great thing about this new technology is that it frees up time for your managers. It is generally what customers expect. Your customers are using technology every day. They check out restaurant ratings and make reservations online. Therefore, restaurant operators should make every possible effort to incorporate technology into their restaurants.
On average, a restaurant manager can work between 10 and 12 hours per day, six days per week. Allowing a restaurant manager to continue at that pace will lead to reduced productivity. It can also lead to mistakes and burnout. When technology frees up time, managers can get a better view of what is needed. The supply chain cycle becomes more efficient. Employees become more engaged because the manager has time to focus on their development.
Restaurant operators agree that modern tech helps increase the overall efficiency of their businesses. According to a study conducted by Toast, 95% of restaurant owners say the use of technology improves the overall efficiency of their establishments. Additionally, 73% of restaurant-goers agree that technology enhances their dining experience.
According to a McKinsey Report, restaurant executives state that digital hasn’t just been a temporary lifeline for the industry. It has transformed how it manages guest experiences, store operations and the supply chain today and into the future. Of course making use of technology is just one way to reduce the number of hours worked. Optimizing your restaurant’s protocols and processes can help the manager to better balance responsibilities.
Becoming 150% More Productive
The restaurant manager can reduce their hours and become more efficient and productive by:
- Consider on-demand services-Just like other parts of the gig economy like Uber and TaskRabbit, tasks like overdue inventory can be subbed out. Also consider using other services to help with your social media and marketing posts.
- Stick to one task-Research has uncovered that restaurant managers that try multitasking are actually less productive. It was found that multitasking actually decreases productivity by up to 40%.
- Delegate-The reason most managers don’t delegate tasks isn’t due to a lack of trust, but is due to control. It is difficult for many of us to give up a task because we feel we own it. Take the right steps and delegate everything you possibly can.
- Reduce administrative burdens-Use technology to simplify and improve reporting and analytics and use smart-scheduling solutions. Consider an item-based forecast, or demand forecast, that predicts what items are likely to sell, and when.
- Consider splitting the role-Hiring two GMs is uncommon, but is needed today. Splitting the tasks involved will allow both managers to become more efficient and productive.
A rested and content restaurant manager is a more productive one. Taking time off is also a productivity booster. So is delegating tasks, automating tasks, and taking mental health breaks throughout the week. Reaching 150% increase in productivity is very doable. It’s just a matter of looking for ways to decrease the amount of hours a manager works. The success of the enterprise depends on the sanity of the manager.
Restaurant managers are one of the most vital key components to winning in the restaurant game. While turnover is part of business in any industry, it can be curtailed in restaurants. A priority should be to consider the captain of the ship. The one who is in the midst of it all. Contributing to a better work/life balance for restaurant managers pays dividends in the long run. A happy, healthy GM or restaurant manager is one of the important factors in ensuring employee engagement and business success.