Article by Aaron Copestake – Account Manager and hard-to-please restaurant regular.

There’s a local curry house I visit quite often. I’ve got them on speed dial.
A few weeks back I dropped in to see two new faces. I was a little surprised and actually slightly annoyed—being so used to seeing the familiar faces that know my preferences.

I greet my new waiter, trying not to let a little frustration show.

“Hi there, must be your first week?”

“Yes, it is… still learning the ropes, so bear with me!”—he replies a little nervously.

“Don’t worry, I’m a regular here. I won’t be too hard on you”. I reassure him, smiling.

“Ah yes, I’m aware, actually. The team mentioned you visit often.”

…was his reply.

It reminded me why I visit this place time and time again—they run a tight ship and must have ‘beaming smile’ as part of the recruitment spec. You just never see a glum face.

The underpinning theme? Effective, effortless communication and a team culture that ensures they properly ‘onboard’ new starters with thorough training. 

My fears that the usual crowd had left were baseless—the team had raised the issue of feeling overworked, so the management took on two new team members.

Now *that’s* not a mentality you see often in a hospitality industry prone to being more preoccupied by bell-curves and pie charts than team happiness.

Find out what it means to me…

In Toast’s Restaurant Management Blog, ‘Let Them Have a Voice’ tops a 6-item list of ways to boost employee morale in restaurant environments.

Toast rightly claim that…

“employees feel valued and respected when included in decision making processes that will affect them. It keeps them connected.”

It’s no wonder then that little seems to wipe the smiles from an F&B team that’s being listened to and catered for.

They asked, they got.

This place is able to stay on its game because, being family, there’s no labour turnover issue and the non-family members they *do* employ are clearly infected with a same dutiful sense of smiling pride.

Not all restaurants have the luxury of this cosy, independent, family-oriented brand identity. 

With scale, come pinch-points…

How can restaurants emulate this one-team culture in contexts that lack the same family recipe?

The Daily Telegraph references a study by the Southern Medical University of Guangzhou, China that looked at data from over 130,000 participants monitored from 3 to 17 years and found that hospitality F&B handlers suffer more stress than doctors and architects.

An article by Fine Dining Lovers reflecting on the same study comments that…

“…job stress actually comes down to how in control and respected a person feels in their role and that even though professions like doctor or teacher can have a lot of mental strain, the feeling of empowerment and autonomy given to people in these roles allows them not to become overly stressed.”

It’s clear then that restaurants that don’t benefit from a ‘family business’ culture need to go the extra mile to develop ways to minimise the impact of stress by making teams feel connected, respected, and empowered to do their job to the best of their ability—only then will F&B teams perform well under the inescapable pressure.

Teamwork makes the dream work…

So what are restaurants investing in today in order to ease the pain of costly operational pinch-points? In their take on Why (and How) Restaurants Are Upgrading Their Technology Toast assert that…

“Change is constant in the restaurant industry, and whether you like it or not, technology is impacting your business, both inside and outside your restaurant’s walls.”

They go on to stress that restaurants should…

“Identify which solutions are making a real impact in the industry, which providers of those solutions are the best fit for your restaurant, how you can convince your restaurant’s leadership team to adopt new technology, and the best plan to roll it out to your business.”

Restaurants need to listen to teams on the front line interfacing with customers because CX is the number one driver of reputation—which hospitality is totally dependent on for its success.

Investing in the right team-comms tech alone can secure a restaurant’s bottom line by wiping out multiple pain-points all at once.

Your customers are already embracing the restaurant-tech revolution to remove the stress. It’s time restaurants gave teams the same opportunity.

Watch the case study video on how VoCoVo is helping teams up-sell at The Sussex Exchange