"Strategy is not war with competitors but peace with customers"
I wanted to start this article with such wise words, because, and although it seems more like a concept associated with the entire theme of Business Strategy, it does not stray from the content of the present. A gastronomic company for all the efforts it makes in material matters is not totally efficient and effective but has the necessary human resources, trained and committed to its work.
And precisely because of the characteristics that the employees of a restaurant With a high component of human interaction, due to the contacts it establishes with customers, this must be a priority for the organization when establishing policies to achieve the proposed economic and financial results.
What is the use of having all the household items and the best technology for the service, if the available personnel do not know how to use it?
What happens when you focus efforts to decrease costs; if human resources are not motivated?
Do they know what the company wants?
Obviously, the essence of everything lies in the company's understanding of the role of employees in achieving business objectives and goals and, on the other hand, the awareness of employees that any action they take in the service is totally nuanced in an act of human relations in every way and that the mechanical act of transporting food and beverages is only part of a whole process that also includes understanding the functioning of the organization.
That is why it is essential, if you aspire to become more productive, which in essence becomes the raison d'être of the organization, because a company does not arise if it does not have economic interests, but also to respond to an unsatisfied demand that is It manifests in desires, needs or demands, to study all those aspects that in some way affect professional performance (psychic, psychic elements, etc.).
In the first place, and answering the first question, we do nothing with having everything necessary for the service if they are not installed or arranged in a rational way, guaranteeing that the staff make useless efforts or unnecessary movements that cause fatigue. If this occurs, the service cycles are slowed and therefore the quality will be affected, the client will perceive disinterest in the service and will not justify under any circumstances the affectations to which it is subject for reasons that are internal to the restaurant.
Another important issue is the domain that operators, processors and transporters of food and beverages must have over each of the means that complement the service. Many times it happens, and that has been a big problem for restaurants, that some workers specialize in the use of a medium, but they do not multiply that knowledge in the rest of the team members and, unfortunately, human beings at last, the day that person has an unforeseen event, the service stops.
Many managers of restaurants, and it is a reality in which various studies I have been able to verify, concentrate their efforts on acquiring the necessary means for a correct provision of the service; they acquire it and enable it immediately. For them the quality of the service will improve with these new acquisitions, they suppose that a value is added to the client; But what they do not take into account is whether their worker knows how to dispose of them, for when and in what form, as a result of the lack of training or the lack of recycling of knowledge that must necessarily occur.
Skill development is acquired in training and materialized in practice, but the world, which spins at incalculable speed, changes, and with it changes the habits and customs of clients, who in the long run are those who impose those changes. and they make it necessary for the worker to be “up to date” on how to offer these services according to the new demands and needs that have arisen.
Technology and all the means for service are indisputably important, but if we do not prepare our human resources to use it logically and rationally, and it also requires great efforts to make use of them or they are distant from the service areas , we are influencing the performance of these workers who, to avoid efforts, do not suggest offers that force them to use them. It is the company that loses a client, an income and a worker committed to the company.
In response to the second question, it is more than clear that without motivation there is no effort, without effort there is no sale and without sales we are bankrupt. It is for them that creating environments in which workers feel part of the organization, perceive that they are considered a fundamental resource for obtaining results and that those results are shared with them, we will be in the presence of a harmonious organization, in which The sense of commitment and belonging of the employees towards the company and of the managers with the employees will become the fundamental compass for the company to prosper.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs focus on knowing what the competition does and how. These studies show many things and the manager draws up strategies to overcome them. Generally those efforts are in cost containment, pricing and advertising. But looking from another point of view, and my personal opinion, it is like an apple: red by force, but black inside. I mean, consider the competition, but first look inward: what do I have and how can I improve it, do my employees feel good working in the company?
Ultimately, they are the ones who implement those actions that you have determined are important to achieve better results. You somehow depend on them. Therefore the fundamental reason for you to achieve in economic and social terms such as the prestige of your restaurant, will be applied with more or less commitment depending on how well your workers feel about their work.
In this sense, I think that:
The ideal is a good working environment. The existence of conflicts between areas (Trade offs) and between the personnel themselves, will influence the service, consequently the quality of the elaborations will be affected and delays will inevitably occur.
Study the structure (template) of the restaurant. Recharging the role of two employees in one may be assumed for a time, but with the passage of it, it will cause fatigue and affect worker productivity.
Set flexible hours: respect that your workers are human beings. Set schedules in which he can take certain breaks during the work day and have time for family care, personal arrangements. If it is impossible for you to create alternate schedules for workers, set split shifts (appropriate arrival and departure times), for example, you have six employees who work eight hours a day with rest on Sundays, so you can arrange for one to go one day a day. week a little later and another one to retire earlier.
An appropriate work environment, in which the first rule is: my workers are human beings with conflicts and needs, will allow you to have a motivated, recognized and respected team. If this happens, increase the degree of commitment. Motivation is the fundamental source of results. If the employee feels good about his job, he will not force a smile when serving the customer. Worry about them, they will take care of worrying about you getting the profits you want.
The answer to the third and last question, in addition to taking into consideration, as a concatenated process, the previous two, is the key for the company to finally achieve its objectives and, in my opinion, is to involve its employees. It is they who interact daily with those who make your business profit. They know what customers want and how they want the services you offer. Investing time in listening to them does not require more resources than their time; think that your workers become many times more objective than any satisfaction survey.
In the same way, exploiting and paying for the creativity of each one of them, you will be renewing yourself daily. It is the employees who know how to shorten service cycles; improve the different processes associated with your area; They know the peak and low moments, the dead times and how to take advantage of them based on their work and their personal rest, to assume moments of high loads with the same spirit at any time.
The participation of employees in the offer, the design of plans and objectives make them commit to the organization in such a way that they are able to adapt personal situations for the benefit of the organization; They are ready for professional sacrifice, they are able to combine efforts in the event of unforeseen events and seek immediate solutions at times that may affect customer satisfaction.
The participation of the workers in the design of the strategies and objectives of the organization, motivated by the respect that is generated in both senses (employer - worker - employer) multiply the sense of belonging, especially if they know that they will also be beneficiaries of those results that have been proposed.
Facilitating the above
Now, technically, there are studies that can be carried out to know the weaknesses and strengths in terms of the service that workers offer and the distinction of habits and skills that, either they acquire from daily contact with other workers, or that they do not develop. due to lack of training and bad habits that have persisted over time.
The methodology that I propose can be found in any book of Efficient of Human Resources and it is very simple, although it offers as many interpretations as you want to do and facilitate the taking of strategic depending on the staff that makes up the organization.
Steps for the development of the Restaurant Staff Competency Study
1. Select the areas to which you want to apply the present.
2. Identify them with letters (For a point of sale with more than one brigade assign them consecutive letters).
3. Create a legend (you can assign a symbol or number to identify it).
4. Select the tasks and / or skills you want to measure.
5. Select a day or time period for your application and tabulate.
+ Good: The person knows how to do it
- Regular: Does not know or does it wrong
Bad: The person knows but doesn't
- Regular: Does not know or does it wrong
Bad: The person knows but doesn't
The example data correspond to four different sales points with two service brigades. In it you can see the following:
There is a manifest need for training activities for workers.
The absence of established norms and procedures is evident.
There is no sense of belonging to the facility. The worker does not carry out sales management, so this may be influencing the financial and economic results of the organization.
The service does not meet the established or expected quality standards. There is no respect for the rules of the service.
There are skills that are the domain of the employees, but that are not executed. This may be motivated by predominant habits and skills in the facility that are not supervised by the food and beverage management and which contribute to the service rules not being respected.
This interpretation of the example can be enriched, but the intention is to show how it is possible to obtain important information about the development of workers in their jobs, the training needs and the enrichment of the knowledge they already have.
One last message
Dear entrepreneur: its human resources are the basis for achieving business objectives. They must live up to their aspirations as a company. A worker determines how far the organization can go. They indicate if the path will be paved or easy. Project yourself with confidence that what you want can be achieved, because you know your employees.