Goals need to be set within any restaurant.

Managers are always looking for ways to make the process of running a restaurant easier. Performance management techniques are one-way managers can evaluate staff and help see who is performing well, who may need some help and who might need let go.

Hiring good employees and training them well doesn’t mean the job of the manager is finished. Good managers will periodically measure the performance of staff to make sure the restaurant is running efficiently as possible. As a business consultant for more than 30 years, I have helped dozens of restaurant owners by teaching them performance management techniques. Here are a few of the key areas a restaurant manager can focus on when evaluating their team.

Inspire your staff

Performance management isn’t something you should do annually. Managers need to be constantly motivating staff every day. Managers must also lead by example. To maintain high standards in your restaurant you need to inspire the staff to perform at the best of their abilities by maintaining high standards yourself. In doing so, the staff will recognize the effort you are putting in and it will infect the rest of your team.

All managers must foster a productive team environment. When the team succeeds, individuals will succeed and in turn the restaurant will succeed.

Set goals for your team

Goals need to be set within any restaurant. Employees who don’t understand the expectations of their positions can fall short in their performance. Managers must give their staff long-term and short-term goals and make sure team meeting and training correlates with those goals. During periods of training, meetings and periodically throughout the month management needs to provide feedback and updates on performance.

Managers need to be monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the staff member’s progress. One-way managers can effectively do this is through modern POS systems that generate detailed analytics on each staff member allowing the manager to develop actionable insights.

Insights can be the number of tables a server has turned, the number of specials being sold at each table, and customer satisfaction through in-house reviews. It is important to display a performance dashboard in an area of the staff rooms where the employees can see their performance and their team member’s performance. It is the responsibility of management to update and review the dashboard on a weekly basis.

Incentivize your employees

Managers need to speak with their staff members each week. This will provide the staff with continuous feedback that will help them become better at their job. If a member of the team is consistently hitting or exceeding their goals, then it may be time to reward them for their performance. Incentives for staff may include bonuses, pay raises, awards, or extra vacation days. It is up to management to determine the best incentives for their team.

Create a performance-based culture

Having a performance-based culture will keep staff members working at the highest of their abilities because they know the better they are performing the more likely they will be incentivized.

On the dashboard you created in the break room or other area list every staff member. Managers can create categories for each position in the restaurant. For servers there should be categories on turnover rates, customer satisfaction, number of positive reviews and any other categories you see fit. Kitchen staff need to have their own metric such as the time it takes to get food out, number of dishes coming back, and prep times. By making this chart visible for everyone it will create accountability among the staff and let everyone know where they are doing well as well as where they can improve.

Managers should place themselves on these charts as well. This shows the team that management is also holding themself accountable and are holding themselves to performance metrics.

Monitor the restaurant staff

Installing the right POS system in the restaurant will help management evaluate the performance of team members. The right software allows you to track sales, turnover rate, inventory, and the efficiency of staff.

Maximizing the POS system will simplify the process of managing and help keep track of areas where costs can be cut.

The performance of restaurant staff will help the business succeed. If the staff is performing their duties at an optimal level, then you know your customers will have a pleasurable and memorable experience at your establishment. Using these performance management techniques will help you keep track of your staff while also helping them become the best employees possible. Having highly motivated staff that are performing well will drive not only sales but customer satisfaction and higher employee retention.

John Waters is the Principal of Waters Business Consulting Group, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an expert at helping business owners and management grow their business.

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