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Five Reasons You Need A Collaborative Work Environment In Your Restaurant

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

The old business model teaches that you manage from the top down. Restaurant owners and managers create policies and business structure, and the staff enacts it. But collaborative success is the way of the future. Here's why you're missing out on money, efficiency, ease, joy, and exponential expansion, until you decide to incorporate staff input into your success.

1. You're missing out on money.

There is financial waste happening within your company. This is just a given. Your staff knows about it. There are buttons programmed incorrectly in your computer. There is product waste because proper storage/delivery isn't facilitated. There are things your guests don't like. Now, you can manage all you want. You can even be aware of your comps, but if you aren't inviting input from your staff, you are missing crucial pieces of information. Managers can't be everywhere. They can't even be experts on your guests experience. Collectively, your staff is. I've heard of managers having an "open door policy," but often suggestions get lost in the busyness of day to day business. At the end of the night, often it takes all their focus to ensure that the schedule is done, guests were fed and the doors are locked. But at Highest Good Consulting, we can streamline communication within your company to ensure you are constantly improving (profit, engagement, efficiency, and guest satisfaction).

2. Timing is everything in restaurants, you (and your guests) require expediency, and in some way the structure of your business is making that impossible.

Every worker within your restaurant knows that products must be delivered to your guests in a timely manner. In what ways are you setting your staff up for failure? Is your ordering system efficient? Do they have the right tools at easy access? Is the flow of service facilitated? Does your menu foster expediency? Your staff knows they must be efficient to do their job well, and they know exactly what makes their job harder. You need to connect with this valuable information.

3. If you think you have to manage it all yourself, then you are missing out on ease, my friend. BIG TIME.

There are old school business models, and they come from a misunderstanding of collaboration and leadership. For instance, if you invite in the input of your staff, isn't that just an exhausting flood of opinions and gripes? Shouldn't employees just show up and do their job?? You have standards for how you want your staff to behave, their guest interaction, professionalism, etc. (You NEED to have standards, btw.) How do you manage while allowing collaboration?? The thing is - you are a leader. You are an owner, you get to decide, and you should never compromise your standards. But when you respect the input from your staff on what enables their greatest success and your guest's best experience, you are streamlining profit for every reason we've already listed. You are getting rid of waste, you are enabling expediency and guest enjoyment, and you're allowing your staff to take ownership in offering their best work. Which brings us to reason number 4 . . .

4. Enabling your staff to take ownership in offering their best work, creates greater joy.

Now just think about this for a moment. You've used staff suggestions and you've eliminated waste and guest dissatisfaction. So, you're more profitable, your job is easier, and you're set up for success. . . But you've also eliminated staff frustrations and streamlined their financial success as well. Sounds like a recipe for success and joy to me. Also, your staff is able to feel pride in their work, because they're able to offer their best, and their effort is contributing to a greater success. Also, you are appreciating their amazing effort. (Note, it's also good to actually appreciate their amazing effort.)

5. Your business will expand exponentially.

Through your (now) collaborative work environment, you're putting your best products out there, presented by your happy staff. Your customers dig the entirety of their experience. They tell others. They come back. Your business expands exponentially.

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