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Robert_Irvine

Robert Irvine

Restaurateur, TV star and entrepreneur

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Improve the Restaurant Employee Experience with Technology

August 12, 2014

Good restaurant owners and managers focus on providing diners with not just good food, but a good overall experience. Great restaurant owners and managers recognize that as a service business, their employees are the key to delivering that experience – and they invest in providing a great experience for their employees as well.

Good restaurant owners and managers focus on providing diners with not just good food, but a good overall experience. Great restaurant owners and managers recognize that as a service business, their employees are the key to delivering that experience – and they invest in providing a great experience for their employees as well. 

A lot has been written about how to hire the right people and how to create a back-of-the-house culture that fosters loyalty. But there’s another key ingredient that can help keep employee morale and productivity high – technology. 

Transform the Scheduling Process

Scheduling is a critical component for employee satisfaction. Chronic understaffing leads to burnout. Overstaffing, on the other hand, reduces the average earnings that servers can make per shift. Technology can be used to improve scheduling not just for the restaurant but for the employees as well. In addition to streamlining the process – avoiding the hours of sorting through availability lists and time-off requests – these applications enable employees to log in to a secure site to see their schedules, submit time-off requests, update availability, and trade shifts with other employees. 

Enhance Communication and Education

Employees are happier when they feel connected and part of the team. Technology offers many opportunities to foster that connection by delivering employee announcements, such as changes to the menu, quickly to the entire staff. 

These systems can also be used to educate employees, for example about ingredients or wine, and to supplement safety, equipment, and customer service training. Making employees feel knowledgeable and comfortable will help them feel successful, which enables them to provide excellent service with confidence.

Improve Service at the Table

Tablets and other mobile devices can provide servers with information about the menu, specials, ingredients, wine pairings and more so they can answer diners’ questions quickly and without leaving the table. They can take orders on those devices – no paper involved – and those orders are sent to the kitchen immediately over the network. As a result, the process moves faster, there are fewer errors, and there is less chance of an order being lost. 

At the end of the meal, these technologies can help customers save time by reducing wait times for checks. And because devices can accept credit cards right at the table, the server doesn’t have to “walk off” with the customer’s credit card.

Keep the Focus on Excellent Service

These technologies don’t replace employees, rather they streamline tasks, reduce the potential for error at hand-off points, and provide real-time information – all of which let employees focus on providing customers with attentive service. 

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