Don't let employees' primary tasks and duties get lost in translation.

When customers dine at a restaurant, communication can help make or break the experience. If there’s overcommunication—imagine the waiter takes orders just minutes after the menu has been handed out—diners may be annoyed, but too little communication, and the diner will feel like they aren’t being taken care of properly.

The same can be said for the employees themselves and the relationship they have with their managers. Working in a restaurant can be a high-stress and difficult job. That’s why the average tenure for restaurant employees is just 110 days, and 52 percent of food service/hospitality employees left their jobs in 2021 due to burnout.

Full-service restaurants can help counter this through more effective communication with their staff. When restaurants streamline employee and task management, staff members have the space to communicate openly and efficiently. Optimizing communications not only improves operations, but it also boosts employee retention and reduces burnout.   

Ensure employees don’t feel overwhelmed

Restaurants are hectic and fast-paced, which can often be overwhelming for staff. However, full-serves that can improve communications will help simultaneously increase productivity and staff well-being. The right amount of communication is vital: too little contact and staff will lack guidance and information on assignments or changing policies, but too much and employees will be overwhelmed with the influx of information.

Full-service restaurants can use available data, such as analytics from the company-wide newsfeed or person-to-person chat history, to know when managers are under or overcommunicating. From there, the management teams can pull back on their communication or determine which staff members need additional information, such as training or process documents. This allows managers to ensure that their staff won’t be overwhelmed with tasks and can instead focus on delivering great service for restaurant-goers.

Optimizing employee management also allows managers to appropriately distribute tasks and assignments. Managers are able to quickly change shifts or reassign employees different tasks as demand and staffing needs change. A manager can easily see if an employee has been assigned too many tables, or if an influx in carryout orders requires an additional employee’s help.

Help employees feel valued and confident

Communication goes both ways, and full-serves must ensure that employees also communicate appropriately with coworkers, managers and diners. Streamlining communication allows staff to establish a regular cadence of communication with coworkers and managers and keep track of past interactions in one location.

By doing so, full-service restaurants can ensure that all employees, from the kitchen staff to hosts, have space for their voices to be heard and can easily and quickly communicate with teams. Giving all staff the room to speak and contribute their thoughts and ideas boosts confidence and makes employees feel like a valuable addition to the business.

For example, employees can openly share ideas or ask questions about restaurant updates or policies and speak directly to their manager whenever needed. This improves the workplace community and makes staff feel like they’re part of the team, which ultimately helps retention and gives them the confidence to sufficiently assist diners.

Keep employees informed and accountable

When restaurants optimize employee management and streamline communication, all employees are held accountable for completing their tasks, whether working front or back-of-house. Full-service restaurant managers have the comfort that the staff knows all the details of their assigned tasks from start to finish. This not only improves overall productivity, but it guarantees that employees are equipped to do their job sufficiently and feel secure in their roles, therefore improving employee retention.

Centralizing communication allows staff to be well-educated about everything happening in the restaurant, such as menu updates, new health and safety policies or schedule changes. For example, waitstaff can quickly find details about the specials of the day or ask the kitchen for specific ingredients in a dish. With all information and messaging available on their mobile device, employees can easily access all needed information and quickly get in touch with their manager if questions or concerns arise.

Communication also plays a major part in scheduling and being able to view schedules in a unified channel makes it easier for managers and staff. Managers can quickly see who is scheduled for specific shifts, and employees can request time off or switch shifts with a coworker through their smartphone. Instead of relying on outdated methods of scheduling, employees and managers have the power to easily access and adjust schedules on their mobile device.

Improve employee and customer retention

By striking the fine balance between over and under communicating, full-service restaurants can ensure that employees’ primary tasks and duties aren’t getting lost in translation. Managers can guarantee that their staff aren’t overwhelmed with messages and assignments, while also making sure that managers have a way to communicate with their staff, and vice versa. Improved communication helps empower employees and managers alike by making it easier to do their jobs and focus on their top priority: taking care of restaurant guests and ensuring they become repeat customers.

Gary Stonell, SVP of Sales and Operations, Opterus, has 20 years of sales management and business development experience in CPG and SaaS. Beginning his career in CPG, he worked for Kraft Foods, Philips Electronics, then SunRype Products fostering partnerships with retailers and managing various aspects of the sales and marketing processes. More recently at Sysomos/Meltwater, a SaaS based social media content management platform, Gary led the enterprise sales team responsible for managing existing clients and new logo acquisition. The key to his success has been a meaningful focus on building business relationships with collaborative solution based partnerships.

Expert Takes, Feature, Labor & Employees