Management Team Staying Focused

How do you keep your management team focused as a group and as individuals? It would be best for both you and your team members to meet as a group on a weekly basis. I advise all clients to do this so that the team can be more successful.

The objective of the meetings: To have the leadership of the restaurant be on the same page so that they might manage the staff more effectively.

What happens at these meetings?

  • Review financials. Each week, a team should publish a prime cost report showing sales by category, food & beverage purchases by category, hourly labor and any key costs that need better control. These results are compared to a weekly forecast as well as the annual budget.
  • Each manager should come to the meeting to review his or her “To Do” list and talk about completion status. This is a good way to follow up to see what is being done, who is getting it done and who needs assistance to get the tasks completed. This segment, of course, helps each individual stay focused on being accountable.
  • Set new operational goals as individuals and as a group and an appropriate task list with assignments.

Encourage & Coach all of your managers to become better at their job. This may take an additional one-on-one meeting during the week to delve deeper into how things are progressing and what can be done to move their progress along. I would emphasize in these sessions that they are the leaders of the business and that, to be more effective in this
role, they need to fully understand the restaurant’s vision so that they can best communicate and motivate the staff members to reach higher levels themselves.

Meeting Times are generally mid-afternoon between lunch and dinner for 1.5 hours. Every one of the key members is required to attend and come prepared with a written list of accountabilities:

  • The kitchen manager should discuss cost of goods, labor costs, consistency & timing of food, new specials, etc.
  • The bar manager should discuss pour cost, labor costs, speedy service, specials, marketing, etc.
  • The FOH manager should talk about service, pre-shift meetings, labor costs, marketing, etc.
  • All leaders should have initiatives that they are going to relay to their staff at shift meetings such as customer service, sales goals, cost goals, marketing promotions staff coaching/training, etc. We call these “What’s Up” sessions.

Everyone should take their own notes on what needs to be done going forward. The leader needs to publish notes to team members and superiors as well.

The leader needs to bring the agenda. The leader keeps these meetings moving along, organized, informative, and motivational. The leader needs to allow people to speak their mind (two-way communication), but we caution not to wander too much off of topic. The leader is responsible for building a sense of community and accomplishment in these key people, and ultimately improving the culture of the entire workforce of the restaurant.

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