We take a real interest in restaurants and hotels and how they run their operations. We’ve been watching a local chain restaurant, that we’ll call Restaurant A, and how their change in treating their staff has made drastic results to the number of customers visiting.
Restaurant A has been open for 10 years. In the first 5, business was booming, large amounts of front of house and kitchen staff were scheduled on and management took notice of what was going on locally – this meant when town was busy because of a local event there’d be a strong team in place ready to satisfy the lunch and/or evening rush.
10 years of course will change any business but many changes in management, a buyout and a turnaround in priorities and attitude have left the business a shell. As the business is a chain, we can compare it to nearby locations who haven’t suffered.
This particular location has made it a priority to focus on driving profits – not by increasing customer footfall but by reducing costs. That means having a skeleton staff at any time, even the busiest periods of the year. A big, popular event happening in the town brings in a massive number of customers. Restaurant A had 170 covers booked, but had just 3 front of house, 0 bar staff and 2 chefs (a full kitchen team would be 7). As you can imagine it was carnage. The food wait was around 1.5 hours, staff were stressed, management were running to each table handling complaints and comping drinks. The costs they saved did not outweigh the number of drinks they needed to comp. It doesn’t even take into account the number of very unhappy customers who will likely never return.
Sadly, this isn’t a one time occurrence, it happens on a monthly basis. A once busy restaurant is now soulless, empty by 8pm on a Saturday night. It’s not a nice environment to work in. Investing in a strong team each shift means you’re valuing your team. You’re protecting them from a stressful shift where they’re stretched beyond their means. We only work with restaurants and hotels who have this attitude – who think about their team and the customer experience. Thinking that way is far more likely to make a success of a business and therefore make it a safe and stable place to work. Let us know if you’ve worked somewhere similar to Restaurant A, it’s always such a shame to hear about it. If you’d like a change though, you know where we are and how we can help!