Do you have some employees who aren’t pushing to advance their role? They’re happy in their position and cause no issues. They don’t make a fuss, but they go under the radar. These employees are the bedrock of any restaurant. A busy restaurant owner can quickly end up overlooking these employees.
With labor shortages, price fluctuations, marketing pushes, constant setbacks, it’s hard to keep your head straight. When you look at all your staff members, you might see some all-stars itching to move ahead. At the same time, others are petering out and need adjustment. The problematic employees take up your time to deal with via discipline, write-ups and re-educating. The all-stars need more training to get to their potential. What about the people that are just consistent?
I’m not a big golfer, but I like the phrase “Swing for show and putt for dough.” Your standard employee who pounds through work dependably every day will go unappreciated much of the time, but they are great putters. A great 250-yard swing doesn’t matter if you take four swings to put the ball in the hole. It’s important to remember that stores that hit revenue numbers and get great reviews do it because of consistent base-level employees. Consistent employees are vital to a great restaurant.
I’m big on saying if you’re not impressive, you’re unimpressive. A quiet employee might not come off as impressive to you. But those employees who consistently deliver a perfectly cooked pizza, who rarely if ever miss the toppings on what’s supposed to go in the oven, who always handle customer interactions proactively ensure you don’t have negative customer experiences. They are extremely impressive because a penny saved is a penny earned with employees like this.
When you have an all-star manager who will go above and beyond with a customer in dealing with a mistake or comp, they create loss prevention. Consistent employees ensure you never get to that point, and ideally, your all-star manager can spend their time building rapport with customers rather than putting out fires.
When the food is consistently excellent and on time, it alleviates a customer’s purchase anxiety and creates more visits. The quiet employee who comes in and works hard, then goes home, and rarely asks for anything, is vital now more than ever. You already knew that, but after reading this article, translate it into action. What can you do for this employee? They might not be a chatty Cathy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate you publicly saying how much you appreciate them. Their lack of charisma doesn’t mean they aren’t funny and don’t have an opinion on what could improve the restaurant. So, I suggest you do two things this month and every month.
- Build or add to your professional
rapport with these employees.
- Find out something they need and help them with it.
Roller coaster employees who demand attention one minute and then ruin your expectations the next will eat up a lot of your time. Faux hard-working employees who are excellent in front of you but lazy when you’re not around, destroy your store. These employees are okay with 40-minute ticket times when barely anyone is in the restaurant. They will disenfranchise your customer base quickly. It’s death by 1,000 cuts those small failures create, leading to a mass exodus of customers. The quiet, consistent employee doesn’t do that.
You must recognize all-stars. That’s a given. But keep motivating those who don’t demand your attention to be great, because they already are.
Build rapport with them and help them; it won’t be in vain.
MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Instagram: @mikeybausch