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Time Management in the Restaurant Industry

The best way to manage your time is to delegate--our consultants share how.

By Sarah Ann Noel- July 28, 2017

In the restaurant industry, while our guests come to slow down, unwind, and be present in time, we find ourselves hustling, rushing, and swirling around to keep up with everything. Running a successful restaurant is a busy profession; and in order for our guests to have their best experiences, it's something we should be doing with an effortless precision. 

Like most things that appear effortless to the untrained eye, a lot happens behind-the-scenes at a restaurant; and time management can be a challenge. The best tactic? Delegation, says National Restaurant Consultant David Kincheloe. "Ask yourself, 'Is this actually the best use of my time? Or can someone else do it?'" he says.

To dig a little deeper into the concepts of delegation in time management, we got some tips from our consultant, Jared Flowers.

"We often find that general managers or owners are ineffective because they're trying to do too much," explains Flowers--exactly why delegation is needed. "We also find, in these situations, assistant managers or shift leaders have low morale and are ineffective because they're not being used to their full potential." 

According to Flowers, here are tips to break this cycle and ensure that you're utilizing delegation for the best time managemnt in your restaurant. 

1. Weekly meetings. Hold a team meeting, once a week, for no more than an hour. Allow no calls or interruptions during these meetings. "It's important that you set the tone by being present, prepared, and focused on only your team," says Flowers. Use the tmeeting to discus financials, upcoming events, maintenance needs/opportunities, and then assign specific tasks. "This is important," Flowers says, not just because it delegates the task, "But at the next weekly meeting, team members can report on their tasks." The whole concept of a weekly meeting keeps everyone on the same page and makes everyone feel a part of the bigger picture.

2. Opening/Closing checklists. "Your checklists should be tools, not tasks," says Flowers. A checklist should spread the responsiblity across the entire leadership team, customized to the needs of your business. This way everyone can pitch in, and everyone can be keeping an eye on the health of the business. "It encourages fresh eyes on multiple areas of the business."

3. Use your employees. In an effort to save management from tedious inspections or line checks, allow the employees to report directly. "Have each employee present their station prior to opening or going home. It gives them a sense of pride and incentive to work hard to prepare."

4. Manager log book. "This is a communication tool, and a very powerful one." This keeps the lines of communication open across the whole management team. When used properly, each member of leadership can stay on-task and organized, knowing what is going on in each aspect o the business.

"One person can simply not do everything," Flowers says. The singular leadership mentality must be eradicated for succesful time management. From there, "Commuincation and delegation are key."

If you have questions about time management or the health of your restaurant's business and work flow, contact a restaurant consultant today! 

Photo by Han Chau on Unsplash