How to Revive Your Restaurant After a Bad Year - Part 3: Employee Performance

Adam C. Lambert Adam C. Lambert Restaurant Operations Strategist
How to Revive part 3.001

In Part 3 of How to Revive Your Restaurant After a Bad Year, we focus on improving the performance and morale of your employees. To achieve exceptional customer experiences, you’ll need to provide friendly customer service and accurate orders at every location, every day.


The Best Restaurants Focus on Employee Performance

If you’ve been following this blog series, you know there’s no immediate fix for all your issues after a rough year.

You have to get back to basics.

First, get employees to execute their work. (That’s achieving team accountability.)

Second, make sure your food is consistently hot and fresh. (That’s digital food safety compliance.)

Then—and only then—can you focus on improving accuracy, efficiency, and friendliness. These are the main focuses of employee performance, and are generally achieved by only the top-performing restaurants.

Those who have mastered the basics will find it much easier to deliver accurate orders and provide friendly service.


Beyond the Basics: Improving Employee Performance

In Part 1, we gave you a crash course on team accountability, or how to get employees to execute their tasks with consistency.

In Part 2 we focused on keeping your food hot and fresh. This ensures you’re delivering consistent, exceptional experiences across all your locations.

Today’s blog culminates with employee performance, or how to actually optimize the work being done in your stores for the best customer experience.

To reach the highest levels of employee performance, you’ll need a strong culture of accountability and high completion rates on your digital food safety practices.

Because exceptional customer experiences are directly tied to revenue per store, employee performance is especially important for multi-unit restaurant operators.


What Poor Employee Performance Looks Like

Poor employee performance generally manifests in one of two ways:

    1. Rude or dismissive employees

    2. Inaccurate orders

The first centers around company culture, stress, and overall morale.

The second is purely a matter of employee training.

When employees are stressed, they tend to shift gears from, “do it right,” to “get it done.”

This type of strain is most often a result of not having enough employees in the store to handle the tasks at hand.

Even if you (and the rest of management) believe there are enough employees to accomplish the tasks, the staff feels stressed, and that’s affecting your customer service.

A similar thing happens when it comes to order accuracy. When employees are unsure of what to do, they go with their gut, and deliver inconsistent, inaccurate orders.

While this isn’t stress so much as training, it’s a performance measure that ties directly into the customer’s experience.

Below, we outline exactly how to move the needle when it comes to these two, main facets of employee performance.


How to Improve Order Accuracy In Your Restaurant

To deliver amazing customer service, you have to deliver accurate orders.

When customers get what they're expecting, they'll return to your restaurant time and time again. And they're likely to bring friends on those future visits, too.

That said, inaccurate orders generally leave customers unsatisfied. More often than not, the customer is forced to wait while your team jumps into panic mode to get a new order on the fly.

Improving order accuracy will keep those moments from happening, helping your daily operations to run smoother.

But more importantly, it will make your restaurant a better place to visit, meaning you'll see improved revenue per store and long-term growth.

At Jolt, we recommend regular training quizzes to help your team remember menu protocol.

Many Jolt customers, like Chick-fil-A, use employee quizzing to train employees on specific menu items to establish consistency—especially across multiple locations.

You only need to ask, “How many pickles go on a chicken sandwich?” a few times before, “two” becomes second nature to your entire team.

Don't think that affects your bottom line? Chick-fil-A leads the entire QSR industry in revenue per store, despite being closed on Sundays. 

Flexing those memory muscles through employee quizzes will help your team make fewer mistakes when creating orders.

That saves you on product and keeps your team focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences.


How to Get Friendly Employees (Like Chick-fil-A)

On top of having one of the most highly trained employees in the industry, Chick-fil-A has set a new bar for employee friendliness in the QSR space.

"My pleasure" now functions as the Chick-fil-A's second tagline.

Because many restaurants—especially quick service restaurants—suffer from high turnover rates, it’s hard to train, and maintain a staff of friendly employees.

Chick-fil-A franchisees have clearly expressed their tool of choice for solving high turnover in the QSR industry. 

There are roughly 2,400 Chick-fil-A stores in the United States—the majority of which use Jolt every day.

That's tens of thousands of Chick-fil-A employees across America using Jolt to deliver exceptional customer experiences across multiple visits and locations.

That said, you've probably noticed something else about Chick-fil-A employees that is important to friendly service: 

Chick-fil-A stores are uniquely well-staffed.

That’s because Chick-fil-A knows the main influence over customer service is having proper employee coverage at every store.

Without enough employees in the store, staff get stressed, and customer service falls down the priority list.

Investing in technology is paying off for Chick-fil-A. The average unit volume of a Chick-fil-A franchise is significantly higher than its closest competitor.

Digital scheduling with Jolt helps restaurants across the globe ensure proper coverage of their stores to keep employee morale high, and customer service friendly.

Moving employee scheduling from paper or excel to a digital scheduling solution like Jolt is the main lever you can pull to affect employee friendliness.

Not only will employees be friendlier to customers, but the morale in your store is likely to rise with improved coverage and fewer stressed employees.


Jolt Helps You Improve Employee Performance

Bringing employee performance to the highest levels is a task for only the best restaurant teams.

As mentioned, you’ll need a firm grasp on the basics before shifting energy here, but that’s not to say you can’t look to improve order accuracy, friendliness, and morale in your stores today.

As a manager or owner, you’ll need to take steps to improve scheduling and training of your employees.

If you’re still using paper checklists to keep track of your store, consider taking the step of adopting Jolt’s team accountability solution in your restaurant.

If customers are unsatisfied with the food, take a look at digital food safety to ensure everything you serve is hot and fresh.

And lastly, if you really want to beat the competition, step up employee performance like Chick-fil-A.

You’ll join thousands of top-performing stores by moving from paper to a more comprehensive, accurate, and efficient digital operations system.

To achieve different results, try a different method.

Learn exactly how Jolt would function in your store by requesting a demo of Jolt here.

We’ll walk you through the 7 Pillars of Restaurant Success to see exactly how we can improve revenue per store, return on investment, and long-term growth to get you on track for a successful 2020.

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