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Is Perfect Restaurant Communication Possible?

Is Perfect Restaurant Communication Possible?
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We’ve all heard the restaurant horror stories - lost bookings and wrong orders. They’re usually just a case of simple miscommunication. As a restaurant owner or manager, you do everything you can to prevent this. But no restaurant is perfect, right?

In this article, we will explore whether perfect restaurant communication is actually possible.


Why is Communication Important?

Effective communication is the key to running a successful restaurant. With so much going on front-of-house and in the kitchen, each area needs to know what the other is doing. Any miscommunications can lead to costly mistakes, so communication needs to be smooth not only on a daily level but also throughout the whole company.

Many companies now use business communication systems such as Workmates by HR Cloud to make communication easier. This helps aid good management and team cooperation, which are also vital to create the perfect working environment. 

Communication Starts With the Management

Successful communication begins with the people in charge. If the communication coming from the top isn’t effective, it will quickly affect the day-to-day running of your restaurant. Each head of department needs to be liaising with their own team as well as those in charge of other teams. The kitchen needs to know how many bookings have been made. The waiting staff needs to know if something is off the menu.

These are some ways you can ensure the channels of communication stay open as a manager:

  • Team meetings at the start and end of each shift

  • Regular check-ins in each area of the restaurant

  • Door-open policy for employees

  • Logbook for suggestions

Free to use image from Pexels

As a manager, it is also your job to maintain a healthy work environment for your staff. This includes being available to talk, giving constructive feedback, and handling employee conflict when needed. A breakdown in communication somewhere is a time-sensitive issue that should be handled immediately. Transparency is also important with management. If employees trust you, communication is much easier.

It may be part of your job role as a manager to recruit new employees. When it comes to successful employee onboarding you need to be clear about what is needed from employees from the beginning. This means setting out clear job roles and work policies. This will also ensure better employee retention. Most restaurants include shadowing as part of the training process. New employees observe and learn from current staff members, meaning they get on-the-job training without being thrown straight in.

Get the Team Together

The best workplace teams are those who enjoy working together. Employees who see each other as friends communicate more effectively and are more likely to work together better. So encouraging staff meals and socializing outside of the restaurant could be the key to successful team building.

One of the areas where communication can lack is with employees who do not work the same shifts. A lot of companies, including restaurants, that tend to have a day shift and night shift staff can find that tensions mount between employees who do not work together. They can feel that work is being left for them, or that they get the more difficult shift. 

Regular staff meetings can be useful for getting the whole team together. These don’t have to be formal. They can just be a place for employees to bring up issues and share ideas on how to work better together. Increasing employee engagement will boost productivity as well as communication.

The Menu

Did you know that one of your most effective communication tools as a restaurant is your menu? This isn’t just where your customers choose their food. With prices, allergens, and descriptions, it is a window into your kitchen. So it is important to get this right.

Free to use image from Pexels

But what makes the perfect restaurant menu?

  • Keep it short - Too many dishes mean too much choice for the customer and more work for the kitchen.

  • Allergens - It is vital that you have the correct information. This is a health and safety matter and customers are trusting you with their food.

  • Clear description - If there’s any doubt about what a dish is, make it clearer. This avoids customer confusion and disappointment.

  • Layout -  Make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they want.

  • Design - Your menu template needs to look clean as well as reflect your brand. Don’t choose bright colors and fonts that are unreadable.

Many customers like to look at food options before they choose a place to eat. This is where online menus can be an effective communication tool for restaurants. Even if you don’t currently have a restaurant website, you can register domain names to use as a place for customers to view your menu. But it is important that you keep your online menus up-to-date. There’s nothing more disappointing than having a customer arrive at a restaurant to find that they no longer make their chosen dish.

Digital Tools for Better Communication

The latest advances in technology could be the final step in perfecting communication within your restaurant. Automating certain tasks leaves more time for in-person communication and less room for error. Social media and online messaging mean that teams can stay in touch when they aren’t at work. This puts an end to missed messages and lost conversations.

Free to use image from Pexels

Group messaging

Communication among employees doesn’t stop when they leave work. But with social media and endless messaging apps, it is better to provide employees with a way of communicating that can be monitored, such as Workmates by HR Cloud®. This means that conversations can be transparent and problems can be dealt with. It also gives management a way to send messages to all employees at once.

Workplace social media can also be a good place for employee recognition. This is a part of the work culture that often gets forgotten. It is a way to boost productivity and reward employees for their achievements. Remember communication isn’t just about contacting employees when you need something from them.

Communication automation

Business process automation (BPA) uses software to automate repetitive tasks that take time away from other important tasks. While it is becoming popular with companies to use in HR and customer services, it can also be used for communication. Automation is the best way to ensure no one misses important messages or updates.

Scheduling app

Creating work schedules can be a difficult, time-consuming task as there are so many variables to consider. A scheduling app can create your restaurant’s schedules based on availability, the skillset of the staff, and shift preferences. You can even factor in holidays and shift changes.

VoIP technology

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) means that your restaurant can make and receive all calls using the same number. With VoIP telephone systems you can have multiple lines that are linked so you won’t miss out on bookings while dealing with customer inquiries.

Free to use image from Pexels

Perfect Restaurant Communication

Advances in software mean we now have the technology to automate a lot of our communication. But this may not be the key to perfect restaurant communication. Communication is centered around people within the company. It is clear that effective communication within a restaurant needs good management, as well as employees who are willing to work together as a team. 

So it looks like perfect restaurant communication may not quite exist. But that just leaves room for us to constantly learn and improve on it.

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Author Bio:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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