3 Ways to Improve Accountability for Side Work in Your Restaurant

by | 24-Oct-2022


Here’s a common situation:

The morning crew arrives to see that a few items have been forgotten at closing.

It puts the team behind by about 30 minutes, but they pick up the slack.

It’s not that your morning crew can’t handle these tasks. (They can and do on a regular basis.) It’s that doing closing work on top of opening duties instantly means you’re behind schedule.

Instead of doing label prep on opening like usual, your entire back of house staff spent the morning cleaning.

Before you know it, it’s lunchtime, and labels are left undone. The drink station is not properly setup, and the employee meant to stock everything before the rush didn’t even finish cleaning the windows.

“That’s just part of running a restaurant,” you think. But this isn’t a problem at the highest performing stores.

They’ve achieved employee accountability by moving their restaurant operations from paper to digital.

Below, we outline 7 ways you can improve accountability for side work in your restaurant by doing the same.


Move All Your Checklists from Paper to Digital

Nearly every restaurant in the world uses some form of opening checklist, cleaning checklist, or closing checklist.

Some stores use Redbooks for daily operations. Other branded restaurants use binders or log sheets from corporate.

Whatever your store uses, it’s probably on paper, meaning it has little to no visibility.

The way paper functions is simply as guide. There are no reminders and no accountability—just the requirement that employees fill it out.

By moving your store’s checklists from paper to digital, you’ll be able to see what’s been done, at what time it was done, and who did it.

Jolt digital checklists are updated in real time, instantly improving management’s visibility into daily operations.

They also feature audible reminders that help staff know what tasks are coming up, and what side work is already overdue.

Paper checklists don’t have a time they’re due, especially if the owner or manager isn’t in store.

Digital checklists with Jolt establish a culture of accountability in your stores to help you get daily execution on the side work that really matters: opening, closing, and cleaning.

Jolt digital checklists allows you to see inside your stores in real time.


Make Temperature Logs Easy for Staff to Complete

Food safety is more of a concern for management than employees.

That’s just the nature of the beast.

That said, it’s employees that handle the main food safety tasks each day. For that reason, it’s often deprioritized or falsified.

The temperature at which your food is served is at the top of every customer’s list of concerns. If a customer orders hot food, it should arrive hot.

The daily success of your digital food safety practices directly affect this critical part of customer experience.

If customer’s can rely on hot soup at your restaurant, they’ll come back for another bowl.

Moving from paper to digital food safety operations will help you improve completion rates of daily food safety practices in your store.

When you make it easy for your staff to complete temperature checks, they’ll do a better job of it. They’ll be more accountable.

That’s a win for management, and a win for the customer, who gets reliably hot food at your store on every visit.


Make It So Employees Can Train Themselves

If you’re a franchised restaurant, employees might be required to watch a few videos when they’re first hired.

If you’re an independent owner, you likely paired the new employee with a seasoned staff member to shadow, and learn by doing.

Even if the videos are a bit cheesy, or shadowing a tad awkward, these functions were put in place to teach the new employee all the best practices of your store.

There is indeed a right way and a wrong way to do side work, and every restaurant owner wants their new employee starting out on the right foot.

The same applies to current—and even experienced—employees.

If that seasoned vet showing your new employee around says, “We’re supposed to do X, but we just do Y,” then you’ve deviated from the proven practices of your store.

The same applies to side work learned using videos. If an employee doesn’t remember those best practices from the first week, they’ll clean the ice machine however someone shows them to.

By aggregating all your training materials in Jolt’s training library, you give employees a Google-like resource for best practices in your store.

They don’t have to interrupt another employee to ask how to do a task. And they surely don’t have to dig through paper binders of job aids.

With training materials stored inside Jolt, employees can simply refer to their phone or the store’s tablet for the right answer to their question. They’ll feel more equipped and accountable for their work.

Again, by moving a paper process to a digital medium, you’ve improved employee performance across your stores.


Jolt Helps Employees Work Like You’re There

If you’re looking to make the switch from paper to digital store operations, Jolt can help.

We’ve helped thousands of restaurants and businesses across the globe move away from paper, and achieve new levels of success with digital operations.

By digitizing your processes in Jolt, you’ve exponentially increased visibility into your stores.

With a real-time view of what’s happening in each store, you’re able to change the context around accountability for the better.

Employees know what to do (and when), and managers can focus on customer service and store management. Most of all, owners get the same level of employee accountability whether they’re in the store or on the road.

Jolt digital checklists help employees work like you’re there, even when you’re not.

To start improving team accountability in your store, request a free, personalized demo of Jolt Software here.

We’ll show you how to achieve the 7 Pillars of Restaurant Success in your store, and improve employee accountability for the better.