Equal Opportunity.

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Equal Opportunity.

There are a lot of reasons why I love working in restaurants. I always mention, if asked, that I love the way you get to know the real person very quickly. Under the pressure and stress of a busy shift I learn more about someone (and them about me) in a few hours than I would would working with them for years in another environment. 

 

Another thing I love (I’ve blogged about this before) is the diversity of the employees, the different backgrounds, skill sets and personalities and how they all have to work together equally. But perhaps the thing I’m now most proud of in our industry, I hadn’t actually given that much thought to before. 

 

I was talking to a friend the other day, discussing equal opportunity in the UK and to what extent it did and didn’t exist - probably prompted by an article or interview on the radio. Rightly or wrongly, we came to the conclusion that although equal opportunity is an incredible thing, in reality there are very few industries in which it exists. Although certain industries, and companies, may advertise themselves as open to all, in reality, education, background and appearance were key factors that seem open and close doors. 

 

I’m not saying these industries don’t employ a wide range of people, but the entry points and career opportunities are very much limited by your education, background or appearance - even your sex in some cases. 

 

Then it occurred to me; in the restaurant game there truly is a level playing field. I find it magical when I visit a restaurant and there may be a new KP or runner;  the person is usually very shy, with little or no English. I introduce myself, and am usually greeted with a warm smile, and an apologetic attempt to say “hello, my name is…”I go back to the same site six months later and the KP has been promoted to a line chef. They’ve now a good grasp of English. They greet me with confidence and an assured “how are you, it’s been a while”. It’s almost like I’ve met two different people. The change in them over the space of a few months is astounding, for as their confidence grows so too does their personality.

 

But that person, who came into the business unable to even speak the language, can then go on to be a sous chef, head chef, area chef or executive chef. The opportunity, as long as they’re willing to put the work in, is endless. It’s the same front-of-house too; I know area managers who started as runners. To me that’s true equal opportunities, to be able to employ someone regardless of their previous path in life and then let them decide if they have the will and the work ethic to promote themselves through the company. 

 

There are very few industries that can truly say they provide equal opportunities, but I genuinely believe ours is one and one we should be proud of. 

 

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Getting Your FOH Staff to Deliver Your Message.

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Getting Your FOH Staff to Deliver Your Message.

As a business expands there comes a moment when you can’t spend all your time on the floor watching what's going on. Ask anyone who runs more than one site and they’ll tell you spending time on the floor watching what's going on, is pretty rare. As you expand, you have to make sure your staff are delivering the same levels of hospitality and service you would, taking the same care and attention to make your guests feel nourished and valued. 

 

So how do we make sure they’re delivering on our expectations? One way is to create very detailed “steps of service”. Telling an employee what to say, what not to say, how exactly to greet a guest, precisely which words to use and when to use them. 

 

Job done, right? I am now pretty certain my employees are saying and doing the right thing all the time. Wrong. They might be saying the right thing, but what they’re doing is anybody's guess. Let me explain. I might train my hosts to greet everyone with a friendly “Good afternoon Sir / Madam. How are you today?” Sounds great, right? But now my host is so used to repeating the phrase that it becomes empty, valueless. I might as well record the greeting and play it every time someone walks in. They might be saying the right words, but the thought behind the words has gone. 

 

That’s the real point here. If you are over prescriptive in the way you want people to behave, you stop them thinking for themselves. Once they’re not thinking for themselves, you have a team of people who are disengaged with what they do. You’re essentially saying, “I don’t trust you enough to think for yourselves”. The good ones will put on a fake smile and feign interest and the bad ones will most probably stop following your instructions altogether - neither will be paying much attention to your guests. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there shouldn't be procedures or steps of service. But there has to be a balance. Do you really need twenty three steps of service when seven will do?  Allow your employees to choose how they greet a guest, but give them guidelines on how you want them to make the guest feel. They can then make a decision in the moment that best suits that particular guest. Now they have to be thinking on their feet, they have to be adapting, they have to be present in their work. 

 

Although it may seem scary giving more freedom to your staff, it’s essential for their wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your business. Employ good people, train them about your culture, show them your vision and then give them the freedom and trust to do their job. That’s how you create a team that makes your guests feel nourished and truly valued. 

 

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How to Fix a Complaint Before it Goes Viral.

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How to Fix a Complaint Before it Goes Viral.

Love it or hate it, but customers who don’t enjoy their experience have a whole host of public platforms to voice their disgruntlement. No matter how great your restaurant is, there are always going to be some people who don’t like it or perhaps don’t have a great experience (any restaurant can have a bad night). Sometimes a guest's grievances are valid and other times they can be completely unjust. Sadly, Trip Advisor and the like can’t tell the difference. Once a poor review has been published it is there, permanently, for everyone to see. 

 

If your restaurant has been open a few years, perhaps the odd bad review won’t make much difference, but for new enterprises these types of reviews can be hugely damaging. Not just for the success of the restaurant but for the morale of the staff who have all worked so hard to get it open. 

 

I’ll be honest, we’re not big fans of people who don’t mention their grievances in the restaurant (especially new restaurants) only to then go and write scathing reviews online. If they knew how much time, effort and sheer courage it takes to open a restaurant, I’m sure they would take a much softer and rational approach. Let’s be clear it’s far more beneficial for guests to air their grievances to the restaurant privately instead of publicly trying to shame them. 

 

One new restaurant recently came under fire for candidly replying to reviews that they felt were unfair and unjust. Although they were arguably acting in self defence, the owner still had to publicly apologise for his actions. So it does still seem a bit of a one-way street when it comes to public reviews the customer can say whatever they want, but the business’ response still has to be professional and measured. 

 

So what can we do? There are always going to be people who, given the opportunity, will write scathing reviews if they’ve had a bad time. We’re never going to change that. So the changes have to be at our end. 

 

A manager's first response when reading a terrible review is usually something like, “If only I’d known - I would have put it right before they left.” I have no doubt most managers would do everything in their power to resolve an issue and not let the complaint ‘leave the restaurant’. But people aren’t always going to tell you that something’s wrong. People may be shy, embarrassed, scared or there may be a number of other reasons why they aren’t willing to come over and tell you they’re upset.

 

But here’s the thing. No guest should have to tell you something’s wrong. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s obvious. Any guest who is unhappy will give you a whole host of signals that identify they are not satisfied. It’s all about awareness. Managers and servers alike should be incredibly sensitive to those signs. Looking for the slightest shifts in body language, conversations stopping, people looking around anxiously or straight down at their food, lack of smiling, lack of interaction with the server or their dining partner…there’s so many signs to be looking out for. Even though your guests aren’t actually speaking their concerns, their body language will be telling you exactly what’s going on.

 

Notice your guest's mood when they come into your restaurant, if this changes for the worse during their meal, perhaps something has gone wrong. This is then the time for you to step over and subtly interact. Find an excuse to go to the table; pour water, pour wine, clear some plates, make eye contact and they’ll quickly let you know what’s going on. Then you have an opportunity to fix it. Empathy and understanding are key here. 

 

The morale of the story is thus; don’t wait for guests to come to you. It’s you and your team's job to spot things before they happen, and unhappy guests can be spotted a mile off. Of course, not all unhappy guests are going to write scathing online reviews but most of them won’t come back and that's even worse. Guest awareness is the key to not only reducing poor reviews but also to gaining life long customers.

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What ‘the perfect Martini’ can do for service.

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What ‘the perfect Martini’ can do for service.

Meet Keith Mrotek, a bartender from the Norseman Distillery in Minneapolis. He’s making a Martini from a recipe that dates back to 1903. The recipe he’s using details 30ml of Dry Vermouth, 60ml of Gin, Orange Bitters and a Lemon Coin. Three ingredients and a garnish. Pretty precise, right? As he skilfully prepares this classic cocktail, you can hear him say “there’s no such thing as the perfect Martini. But there is a perfect Martini for each guest”. The amount of ice you use, the length of time you stir the drink (Keith likes his stirred for 45 seconds), the amount of orange bitters you use. These all add subtle changes that can be tailored to suit each guest. The cocktail is still their unique recipe, it’s uses their own Gin and Vermouth but there’s flexibility in their approach that delivers something specific to each individual. For me that’s real modern bartending. 

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That also happens to be the exact approach we have to delivering great service. The U.S. has always been way ahead of us when it comes to customer service, and there’s no doubt we’re catching up. But I also think we’ve picked up some of their bad habits too. As big brands realised the importance of customer service, they developed rules and regulations to create ‘consistency’ throughout the company. Scripted “Good Morning Sir” and “You have a great day Miss” seemed to be the basis of great customer care. The problem is, we’ve got so used to these hollow please and thank-yous that we see straight through them. Robotic and scripted jargon like this is embarrassing for all involved. Airlines are a classic example. Whenever you depart from a flight and the three or four crew say, "thank you" for flying with them, sometimes not even looking at you and repeating the same words in the same tone in between conversations with themselves. Why do they do it? Because the training manual tells them they must. The whole exercise becomes pointless. Sadly that generic, robotic and soul destroying “good” customer service practice has found its way over here. 

 

I’m not saying rules and points of service are a bad thing. They’re not. You couldn’t make this Martini without Gin and Vermouth - but we have to have flexibility. We have to trust front line employees to make their own choices and decide exactly how they think it is best to thank a customer. Our barman Keith takes pride in knowing exactly how to tailor his cocktails to suit his guests. And if you give your employees the right skills to tailor their service to suit each guest, they too will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. It takes no skill to mindlessly repeat “thank you” a hundred times. But it takes a great deal of skill to make each individual guest feel valued, welcomed and appreciated. These are skills that can be taught and honed and are incredibly satisfying to use.

 

Service without the freedom to go off script is tired, out-dated, dishonest, and your guests will see straight through it. Give your team a bit of freedom and trust, and see what they can achieve. 

 

Right, now I’m off for a Martini… Keith?

 

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Motivating Your Front Line Employees.

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Motivating Your Front Line Employees.

Motivating floor staff can be an uphill struggle. Getting your front line employees to hold the same values and enthusiasm you do for your business can be incredibly frustrating. Speaking to any manager or company director you’ll hear similar frustrations: “I just wish they’d get on with - it’s not rocket science”. Perhaps it isn’t. But without the right perspective, it can become impossible to deliver great service consistently. 

 

Take a moment to think about the frustrated front line employee dealing with your customers. Their interior monologue could run something like this: “These customers are all so annoying today. Why I am here? I don’t want to do this anymore. Why is that person so rude? Another idiot I have to deal with. I don’t get paid enough for this!” Sound familiar? 

 

It’s interesting when you look at comments like these how self focused and insular they are. There’s no real perspective. It’s also interesting that depression, anger and other negative feelings follow a similar cycle: An inability to see past the current circumstances to the bigger picture. 

 

One of the techniques we’ve used recently, to great success, is to involve these front-line employees in other aspects of the business. Buddying them up for a few hours with senior managers explaining the details of how the business operates. Going through budgets, labour, forecasting and exactly what the business needs to do to be successful and where things can go wrong. 

 

We’re trying to achieve a few things here. Firstly, we’re creating a greater sense of trust between management and staff. This can be really useful one-on-one time that staff rarely get with management. Secondly, we’re hoping to crate a sense of enthusiasm and interest as team members feel like they are learning useful business skills. Thirdly, we’re creating a sense of perspective, and ownership. The employee realises they have a role to play in the business and that their actions have a direct impact on the financial success of the company. 

 

By creating a new sense of perspective we are removing the self-focused negativity and creating a sense of responsibility and shared ownership in the business. That’s the real key - you want your employees, not to mention your guests, all to feel like they have a sense of ownership in what you do. 

 

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Restaurants: a Beacon of Hope in an Ever More Divisive UK.

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Restaurants: a Beacon of Hope in an Ever More Divisive UK.

The world seems to be a pretty divisive place right now. Post-Brexit and perhaps pre-Trump, we’re living in the most turbulent of times, certainly since I’ve been alive. As society seems to become increasingly divided, with many people retreating into the safety of the known and rejecting the unfamiliar, for me, the hospitality industry is sending out a beacon of hope, cohesion and community. 

 

Let me explain. We’ve been doing a lot of research at Hop HQ on prejudice, how we become prejudiced and how we can overcome it. Race, immigration and religious beliefs are all volatile topics at the moment, spurred on by politicians, news groups and social media. 

 

We are heavily influenced not just by what we read and see, but by who we hang around with, who we care about and who we work with. The most deep-rooted prejudices, and the hardest to break down, are the ones we inherit from our parents. 

 

If there was less prejudice in the world I have no doubt it would be a better place. So what is the best way to get rid of it, even in the most deep-rooted cases?

 

So there’s been lots of studies and on this and many different approaches to diffuse or change someone's prejudice. One was training courses, week long workshops, educating people about other cultures to make them seem more human and develop empathy and understanding. Initially the students did feel less prejudiced but shortly after the courses the old feeling returned. However the most successful trial was when individuals from different backgrounds had to work together towards a joint goal. 

 

The sharing of skills, and cohesion needed to complete the task, removed the prejudice and permanently altered the attitudes towards one another for the better. 

 

So if we want to reduce the amount of prejudice knocking around at the moment we need to bring people together and get them to work towards a common goal. 

Diversity really is something we should be proud of in our industry, it should be celebrated.

That’s exactly what a good restaurant does. The last restaurant we opened had, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Nepalese, British, French, Turkish, Indian, Moroccan, Dutch, Saudi, Sri Lankan and Syrian employees. You can’t get more cohesive than that. I’ve learnt so much from all the different cultures I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years. Diversity really is something we should be proud of in our industry, it should be celebrated.  I’ve always thought the world would be a more empathetic and understanding place if everyone had to work in a restaurant for a year, perhaps now more than ever. 

 

Get Trump on pot wash for a month and let’s see how his attitudes would change.

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What’s the pull of working in the hospitality sector?

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What’s the pull of working in the hospitality sector?

I was speaking to a friend the other day who has worked as head waiter for one of London’s best restaurants for the last twenty years. We were discussing the good things about our industry and the first thing that came up, not surprisingly, was money. He told me that when he first started the money was great but, in actual fact over the last ten years his wages have stayed the same. It is true that wages over the last ten years have pretty much flat lined. Hourly rates might have increased, but Tronc has dropped off evening everything out. It also doesn’t look like there’s going to be any growth soon, and with rents increasing more pressure is being put on profit and that’s definitely not good for wages. 

There’s no doubt that recruitment is becoming harder and harder. I hear from a lot people that there’s just not the same talent available anymore. If we want to attract talent into the hospitality sector I think the industry needs to look at how it’s marketing itself as cash is no longer the pull factor that it was. The hospitality sector is hard; long hours, emotionally draining, but it can also be hugely rewarding. There are not many industries where the stress levels are so high and the customers so close. If you haven’t got the right skills to deal with those emotional strains the job seems endlessly exhausting, and I’m sure the main reason why so many people leave the industry. They feel over-worked and under-rewarded - and I don’t just mean cash rewards. 

If we don’t start looking at the sector as one that is skill-based, and don’t train people with the right soft -skills to do the job we’re never going to solve the recruitment and turnover issues. 

Give people the right tools to un-lock their customers and create emotional connections with their fellow employees and the rewards will take care of themselves. 

 

 

 

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Feedback. Old Skool vs New Skool.

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Feedback. Old Skool vs New Skool.

Feedback. There’s a lot of it out there. Trip advisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Mystery Diners, the list goes on and it’s hard to keep track of. A lot of great businesses follows these channels rigorously, and respond to every single comment. But with so much to respond to, is this information actually of any use to your business?

 

After speaking to a number of company directors it seems that little of the social media feedback actually gets filtered down to the individual restaurant. The marketing department pretty much deals with the whole process. There also seems to be a view (not without validity) that many social media comments are not so much feedback, but more self-promotional statements. I was here, I did this, etc. Due to the public nature of social media, comments seem to swing from one extreme to the other, either hugely positive or intensively negative. It’s also difficult to work out which site a comment may be actually be referring to. Comments are useful tools to grow your brand online, but not so great to improve the customer experience on the floor. 

 

Then there’s Mystery diners. They give useful feedback most of the time, but this is less than 0.0005% of most business trade. Though it has its floors it’s still seen as perhaps the best barometer of service. 

 

Feedback forms; another tool that are being employed by some big chains now. But these are usually filled in quite a long time after the event and again only represent a tiny percentage of your customers. 

 

Taking a wholistic view, there seems to be so much information out there, but when we break it down, there’s really not much that’s actually that useful to improve the customer experience. 

 

If you really want to know what your customers think of your service you can tell instantly by looking at them. Yes it is that simple. But how do you do that on a larger scale?

 

Train your managers and staff to be aware of the emotional state of your guests, teach them how to emotionally nourish your guests. Teach them to spot the tiny signs of dissatisfaction. If your teams can do that the results will be evident in the atmosphere of your site, your team, and ultimately your sales. Your guests are giving you feedback all the time, you just need to know how to spot it. A guests smile, frown or “thank you” will tell you far more about the experience your providing than twitter ever can. Interested to find out more just give us a call. 

 

 

 

 

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The Secret to Great Customer Service

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The Secret to Great Customer Service

The Secret to Great Customer Service. 

 

If there’s one secret to delivering excellent customer service it’s empathy. Human beings are a pretty complicated bunch and trying to make all of them happy can be a pretty exhausting experience. 

I find it fascinating that most businesses, for whom customer service is a key factor to their success, do no emotional intelligence training.

 

I find it fascinating that most businesses, for whom customer service is a key factor to their success, do virtually no training on Emotional Intelligence. We should embrace the fact that human beings are complex, and what makes one person happy, may not work for another. That’s ok, in fact, it’s a good thing. If the same thing worked for everyone customer, service would be pretty easy, but it would also be pretty dull. 

 

I see so many employees who get frustrated when their usual customer service dialogue doesn’t get the response they want. For example, a guest walks into a restaurant, the host gives them the warmest welcome and the biggest smile, and the guest does not smile back and simply states “A table for one, I’m in a rush”. The host is now resentful of this guest and his rude attitude. 

 

But is it rude? Perhaps, perhaps not. In fact the answer is immaterial. The host is upset because the guest hasn't behaved in the way the host anticipated. How is the rest of the night is going to go for the host do we think?

 

If we expect someone to react a certain way and they don’t it causes us distress, and that becomes tiring over time - that’s why working with the general public can be so draining. 

We need to teach employees in the customer service industry that people are different and that’s ok.

 

We need to teach employees in the customer service industry that people are different and that’s ok. Some people won’t smile back at you. Embrace that. Understand that for some people it’s just not in their nature to be open and friendly, and you must adjust your style and expectations to suit their needs. 

 

The more we can empathise with the emotional state of our guests, the more resistance we have to their behaviour. Instead of forcing everyone into the way we would like them to behave we start to change our behaviour to suit them. Instead of working with resistance we are working with fluidity and purpose. It’s way more rewarding and way less stressful, not to mention more genuine. 

 

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The 'Affect' of poor service.

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The 'Affect' of poor service.

A bad mood on the restaurant floor can be a poisonous thing. When I managed restaurants, I was always very wary of the signals of one of the servers moods shifting. Shifts in body language, change in vocal tone, and changing facial expressions were always something I was super sensitive of. I was aware that if just one of the servers let their emotions get the better of them we would be in for a bad night. That mood, if not caught quickly enough, would spread like a virus to other staff members, to our chefs and eventually to our guests. 

 

Now you may think I’m exaggerating, or that ones mood can’t really change the atmosphere of a whole restaurant, so I’m going to take you through the science behind it and see if we can start to give a bit more weight to the role emotions play in a customer facing business. 

 

It’s called ‘Affect Communication’.  If we think about communication as a two-way exchange, not just of words but as emotions as well, Affect Communication is when one person transfers an emotion or energy to another. 

 

Happiness is perhaps the most obvious example of this. If someone genuinely smiles at you, you smile back. Our brains are incredible at reading body language and facial expression enabling us to recognise emotion. We take in all the information from the other person, process it and then the brain responds. 

 

Now this is the amazing bit. Even if we don’t consciously see the smile the brain does. So you might not even notice that someone has smiled at you, but if your eyes have seen it the brain will release hormones and instructions to your body. With a smile the brain signals the micro muscles in your face to move - it’s like your smiling without even knowing it. Mind Blown!

 

But obviously the flip side to this is that aggressive or negative emotions work exactly the same way. If someone is full of tension when they are speaking to me: pursed lips, furrowed brow, hands clenched - even if I don’t consciously notice - my brain will start to tell my body to prepare to defend against this tension - making me tense in turn. My heart rate will rise, blood will go to my hands and my legs preparing to either fight or run. 

 

And here’s the really amazing bit. When two people with opposing emotions meet, the person with the strongest emotion will Affect the person with the less strong emotion. Now anger, anxiety and stress are pretty powerful emotions and if we can look for the initial signs of these emotions, we can nip them in the bud. But if you don’t spot them early enough that’s service ruined for you and your guests.

 

So let’s say one of your team members is stressed and frustrated, they will pass on that emotion to all the people they come into contact with. If someone else on the floor is a little stressed then that interaction can push them over the edge, now they too are also affecting everyone they come into contact with. Before you know it, the night is ruined.

On a more positive note, if your staff are happy and taking pride in their work, they will Affect guests with their positivity. Even if guests come in stressed and grumpy they have the power to turn their mood around. Your servers just have to have a stronger emotion than your guests. That’s easier said than done - book us for some training to learn some practical skills on how to do it!

 

The art of communication is a complicated thing, but it’s also incredibly powerful. If you can Affect your guest's mood for the better, they will come back not just for the food, but for the emotional nourishment as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

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What we learnt in the Pinchos Bars of San Sebastian

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What we learnt in the Pinchos Bars of San Sebastian

If you’ve never experienced a chaotic Pinchos bar before, it can be a pretty confusing and intimidating experience. Imagine a packed bar, counter covered with plates of amazing tapas, beautifully displayed, people reaching over you, grabbing things, wine being poured, money flying over your head, and not a queue in sight! Everyone seems to understand how the chaotic system works apart from you, and a few other bewildered tourists desperately trying not to make a social faux pas. 

 

Finally, you get to front of the bar. Nervous, you muster your best Spanish and ask for two glasses of wine and ask tentatively for a plate, hoping that’s the right thing to do. The barman looks at you with the warmest smile, mocks your Spanish accent with his perfect English, completely disarms you of all tension, and tells you about the specials they have in the kitchen. The encounter only lasts a minute, but you now feel like a Pinchos Jedi - and you have a buddy behind the bar. The bar is packed, but in that minute he gave you his full attention and changed your mood entirely. Five minutes later you're even get a mini check-back. There are three barman working in this bar with over a hundred people wanting service, and you still get great service. The atmosphere is bustling, exciting and fun. 

 

All but one of the Pinchos bars we went in we’re like this, bustling, full of energy and great service to boot. Ironically, the Pinchos bar which had the best food was also the one with the worst atmosphere. We get there as it opens, excited. As soon as you walk in you can feel the tension, the bar is packed but eerily quiet. We get to the front, the barman is distracted, stressed, his manager talking to him whilst he’s taking our order. No real eye contact. The food arrives - it’s amazing - though one of our dishes is wrong. More shouting behind the bar as we eat. I turn and I accidentally bump into the American lady sitting next to us - she looks like she’s going to punch me. We leave as soon as we can. 

 

What I find amazing about the former bar is how only three barman can completely control the mood of over 100 guests. That’s pretty impressive. Even if you run a counter-service company, the relationship of the people behind that counter sets the mood for everyone who comes in.  

 

 

 

 

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Effort vs Productivity

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Effort vs Productivity

Ever been to a restaurant where everyone seems to be running their socks off, sweat pouring down their brows and steam rising from their team t-shirts, and yet the level of service is slow and messy?  Or perhaps you've managed a shift like this (I know I’ve had a few in my time?) Restaurants are unpredictable beasts and we can all get caught out at times. Sudden spikes in trade for no apparent reason can cause havoc for anyone. But what about those shifts where the labour budget is not to blame, and for some reason, despite everyones best efforts it all goes a bit wrong? Welcome to the Hop Guide to Front of House Productivity. 

 

So I want us to think about productivity in two ways. Firstly the productivity of the whole team. The group output from all the individuals combined.  And secondly the individual productivity. How productive each team member is.

 

Now you may think, the more productive the individuals are, the more productive the team will be. Not quite, it’s a little more complicated. The key thing we’re looking for is ‘Equal Productivity’. If all your employees are equally productive and working at a similar rate (their work rate) then the overall productivity for the restaurant will be good. You can see the graph below. 

Pretty obvious, right? Ok, but what happens if just one member of my team decides to slack off a bit. If you’ve got a good team they will usually pick up the slack. Their work rates go up, perhaps service suffers a little, but overall productivity of the restaurant goes down only slightly. 

 

If this is just a one off it’s not such a big problem. However, if it starts to become a regular thing, the rest of the team will start to notice and the sense of cohesion and team work will start to erode, “Why should I help him if he doesn’t help me?” What you end up with is six individual servers only interested in their own sections. If it’s not busy, it’s not too noticeable, perhaps guests will pick up on the negative energy, but productivity isn’t affected too much. 

 

However, once it get’s busy, disaster strikes. Because the team is divided and the servers have become used to working on their own, they can longer generate the Team Productivity needed for the volume of trade.  Individual work rate soars but Team Productivity is low.

All because one person in the team started to slack off a bit. I hope you’re getting the point now. It is far more important for everyone to be working at the same rate, being equally productive, than it is for a few to be doing the majority of the leg work. It only takes one person to upset the balance.

 

Teams where individuals are working at different levels of productivity don’t last long. It’s the quickest way to upset employees and can be a nightmare, not to mention costly to fix. The key is spotting it early - that means even on quiet shifts. You need to notice the behaviour, then stop it, before it becomes habitual. 

 

So remember, every time a server is not pulling their weight they are starting to create conflict within the team. If that carries on, it will divide the team, which in turn, will have a devastating effect on your business and your employees. 

 

 

 

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