To establish a successfully running business, systems must be put in place in order to create a functional work flow. To do this, each sector must be shared, that includes the kitchen, the floor and the bar area in order to allow communication and understanding to seamlessly occur during each service period.
This may be a tough system to put in place, as each section specialises in different areas and is dependent on one another in different ways. For instance, each Chef needs their servers to deliver meal orders in a fast amount of time, specific and detailed in a readable way- also, its important for servers to make the Chef’s job a little easier. If the order is too complicated, then there will be time wasted on figuring out what the customer actually wants rather than the server finding compromise and adjusting the meal. This explanation all makes sense during the service itself, because of course when time is limited and customers are waiting, an overall understanding must be met within your staff in order for everyone to work well and deliver successful results.
In a cluster of various roles, each staff member must focus on their job at point. The bar staff rely on orders being sent through appropriately, so that their own system within the bar can function and deliver beverages on time. This system is similar within the kitchen, so servers and floor staff and left to be the middle man- the ones who are in direct communication with each customer.
It’s fair to say that most newcomers have no idea that their role actually involves more than they could imagine-which is why the management team need to step in almost every day to fix internal mistakes. In saying this, a relationship must first be set so that servers have a respected understanding towards the kitchen, or else the line of ordering will be messed up on every occasion. As soon as this has been established, leading staff members will be able to trust and rely on the others to do their job. Trust enables information to be shared more smoothly and with greater passion, whether it be one of the dishes on the specials board, the server must be enthusiastic to share with customers, not shy or lazy, as the order has been interpreted by the Chef as something they would like to happen. Same goes with the bar; cocktails, wines and spirits are a totally different system on their own, with an abundance of knowledge that must be learnt. Servers must in turn learn a fraction of this knowledge with customers, who will then be able to go and speak to a bartender one on one for a more detailed understanding. All these points signify the ongoing processes and connections which are visible within venues, as internal systems must be placed for each section to come together in a smooth manner.
Processes and Set Up:
If you truly want your business to portray custom specialities, then you need your staff to be informed, passionate and confident about their products. By being able to speak with complete awareness of each product, dish, beverage or service, customers will be able to feel a sense of warmth and respect towards your establishment, as they slowly begin to understand that their experience is valued.
To ensure this is repeated, we can start with the floor. Each server will be allocated sections, however if your venue is very small, the tables can be delegated during service by the floor supervisor. Once the tables are established, each server will know who is responsible for which customers and will be set in place. In terms of the computer system, billing and ordering, each order will have a simple and specific format that must be agreed with by the kitchen staff- whether it be abbreviations or limits with pricing and add ons. Also, when it comes time to bill customers, it’s better to have the ‘hostess’ at the counter station. Sometimes this doesn’t work if the venue is small, because the server can round up their own tables, however if it’s too busy, a specific staff member will grab the table number and finish off the bill. This creates a seamless system, for servers to clean up the table and set up for the next arriving customers.
Your head Chef is in charge of kitchen matters, as meal prep, ordering and service roles will be dealt with accordingly to them. They are the sole of the venue, who will let management know who they prefer on the floor and which system works best for them. It’s important to know that the kitchen can’t be hassled constantly during service, as their point of focus must remain on the orders coming through. However, servers will build the confidence to know when to speak if the order is just too complicated to write on the docket itself. Also, keep note that stock should be counted twice a day, before morning and evening services begin, because no one can be running outside when customers are flooding through the doors.
As your establishment remains running, your staff will eventually find their groove. But if you notice some team members just cannot listen, cooperate or compromise, then it’s not your system, it’s your staff. There are many factors which lead to top notch customer service, it just takes time, trial and error. You’ll find your niche, as long as you remain with open ears and eyes towards your business.