How to Revive Your Restaurant After a Bad Year - Part 1: Team Accountability

Adam C. Lambert Adam C. Lambert Restaurant Operations Strategist
Jolt Blog How to Revive Your Restaurant After a Bad Year Part 1 I Image

You’re a restaurant owner, and it hasn’t “been your year,” as they say.

Maybe there’s been a hit to the local economy, or it could be your employees keep quitting. Whatever’s causing your pain, there’s a clear roadmap back to the straight and narrow.

Remember why you got into the food service industry to begin with. Bring yourself back to basic principles and truths of the trade.

In the spirit of mastering fundamentals, we focus Part 1 of this blog series on achieving team accountability.

Establishing a culture of accountability in your store is the first step you should take when resetting after a tough fiscal year.

If you can get employees to execute on their daily tasks and checklists, you’ll be free to move on to deeper concerns in your business.


Why Team Accountability Is Important

It’s rare to encounter a restaurant owner who wouldn’t like to improve employee accountability.

The reason accountability is so important among hourly workers is simple: it determines what gets done, and what falls through the cracks.

These are the daily duties of your restaurant, and if you’re only completing half of them (or less), it’s likely contributing to the turbulence you’ve recently experienced.

To lift yourself out of a bad year, you’ll need to prioritize team accountability in your restaurant, even across multiple locations.


What’s Not Working: The Problem of Accountability

The problem isn’t that you don’t know how to run a restaurant. You’ve likely outlined all your daily operations in a notebook, or subscribe to a boilerplate best-practices manual like Redbooks.

You’ve got the perfect processes in hand, but there’s a failure when it comes to execution.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your employees are ignoring their duties, it could be they simply don’t remember, or there’s no culture of accountability in your store.


How to Achieve Clean Stores

If you’re not familiar with the 7 Pillars of Restaurant Success™, “Clean” is the first and most fundamental pillar on the list. Stated plainly, without a clean store, you’ll never be a top-performing restaurant.

The cleanliness of your restaurant is a direct manifestation of your employee accountability. If employees feel equipped and knowledgeable about their job, they are generally accountable for their daily duties.



If employees are claiming things have been cleaned, when really they haven’t, you’ve got an accountability problem on your hands.

It’s important to remember here that the employee is not completely to blame. If it were merely a matter of poorly-chosen employees, accountability wouldn’t be an industry-wide problem.

To achieve clean stores, you need real, reliable execution on daily cleaning duties. The best way to accomplish this is requiring photo-proof of completed work.

Instead of asking employees to initial a sheet of paper or a clipboard, you can use Jolt digital checklists to require a photo to show that item is done.

Digital checklists improves visibility between employees and management when it comes to daily cleaning and accountability.

By changing the context around accountability, and measuring the success of your cleaning checklists, you’ll see a vast improvement in execution.


How to Establish Consistent Processes In Every Store

If you’re looking to establish consistent processes, take some notes from Chick-fil-A.

Most Chick-fil-A’s in America use Jolt every day to deliver exceptional customer experiences across multiple visits and different restaurant locations.

These experiences include food quality (temperature and taste), service quality (fast and consistent), and your restaurant’s cleanliness.

Chick-fil-A stores use Jolt digital checklists for improved accountability, temperature logs, and more.

Investing in technology to improve the customer experience is paying off for Chick-fil-A. The average unit volume of a Chick-fil-A franchise is significantly higher than its closest competitor, despite being closed on Sundays.

Eric Mason, a franchisee from California, said, “As a Chick-fil-A owner, I’m looking at it big-picture. Long-term.”

By moving daily checklists from paper to digital, Chick-fil-A owners immediately have more access and visibility into my daily operations.

“I’m easily paying for the investment through cost savings,” said Sam Class, a multi-location Chick-fil-A owner, “and that’s using a conservative estimate.”

He continues, “At an average wage of $12.50 an hour, saving two hours every day in wasted time, the savings are significant. Jolt is well worth the monthly investment.”

Delivering a consistent process is the first, real step in boosting revenue per store. When customers get a consistent and positive experience, they’ll return more often—and tell their friends.


How to Ensure Fast Service Every Day

Once you’ve established consistent processes, practice getting faster at each of them.

Jolt checklists are set to appear when they need attention, and disappear once they’ve been completed properly.

Because checklists can often fall between the cracks..

Jolt digital checklists help with this by sending your employees alerts to keep things moving quickly.

Because Jolt checklists are set to appear when they need attention, your staff will get audible reminders of both upcoming, and overdue, checklists.

These audible alerts keep your staff aware of what’s needed, and focused on certain tasks at specific times. Instead of a manager following employees to verbally remind them, they’ll hear a chime from Jolt and know it’s time to execute a new checklist.

Establishing these routines and practices each day will improve your team’s efficiency at completing them.

The more customers you serve, the more revenue your store will make.


Jolt Helps You Achieve Team Accountability

Changing the context around team accountability in your restaurant cannot be achieved overnight.

As a manager or owner, you’ll need to take steps to improve visibility of checklists, and execution of daily cleaning duties.

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.

You’ll join thousands of top-performing stores by using a more comprehensive, accurate, and efficient digital checklist system.

If you’d like to see exactly how Jolt would function in your store, request 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 in your stores.


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