7 best practices for foodservice teams

Published in FSD Update

chefs restaurant back of house

“Average is over.”

In today’s hypercompetitive foodservice space, being average is a death sentence, said Jim Sullivan, founder and CEO of Sullivision, a consultancy that works with foodservice brands with at least 50 units.

Average today “means you’re either best of the worst, or the worst of the best,” Sullivan said.

To help operators skirt that death sentence, he used a presention during the NRA Show last week to highlight “7 best practices of wildly successful foodservicebrands, teams and leaders,” as the title promised. The emphasis was on the first two:

1. Focus on what you can control

How can you reduce complexity and minimize “task saturation” in your operation? You can manage that by asking vendors and advisers to help you identify redundancies. Also, keep your task list manageable. Don’t try to do 27 things well. You won’t succeed. Shoot for three things that you can do excellently.

2. Build strong teams

You don’t build a business—you build people, and those people build the business. “Life is too short to work with a-holes,” Sullivan said. No one wants to work with such people, so how does it happen? It often starts with bad managers who hire employees who are even worse, he said. C-level managers hire D-level employees. Hire well, and that A-level manager will bring in A-level staff. Create leadership opportunities so those A-level folks can continue to rise.

3. Serve better

“Bad service happens by itself,” said Sullivan. “Good service has to be managed.” Don’t ever get bored with the basics, he said, because doing the basics well keeps customers coming back.

4. Sell more

This is closely tied to No. 3. The way you sell more is by keeping customers coming back, and coming back more often.

5. Practice ‘habitual consistency’

“Persistency gets you there; consistency keeps you there,” Sullivan said. It’s critical to empower employees with the ability to solve problems, too. “Teach team members how to think instead of what to do.”

6. Focus on execution

“Time management is dead,” Sullivan said. “We need to prioritize.” If someone says he or she doesn’t have enough time for something, it’s not important enough to that person. Also, set measurable goals, such as how you’ll get from point A to point B: When will it happen, how will it get done and who will do it?

7. Continuous improvement is key

“Everything is the same, until it isn’t,” said Sullivan. As Gen Z comes into the workforce and everything continues to migrate onto smartphones and tablets, are you ready to evolve along with the rest of the world?

 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
management team

Last week’s NACUFS National Conference proved to be a treasure trove of management and staffing takeaways. Here are a few we noted at the annual event , held this year in Providence, R.I.

1. Make it scalable

When explaining something new to staff, instead of asking, “You got it?” or “You with me?” have employees rate how well they understand the new material on a scale of 1 to 10, said Ron Paul, a senior consulting partner for Partners in Leadership, during a session on building accountability in the workplace. People are likely to say yes even when they don’t fully grasp what you’...

Ideas and Innovation
song break

Once per month in a daily huddle, we dedicate a few minutes for the staff to sing a short song. The staff has responded so positively to this. They now bring costumes and other props. It's a few short minutes, but the payoff has been tremendous.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Ideas and Innovation
plastic straws

An item about the size of a pencil has become the latest target in foodservice operators’ sustainability plans. Though small, plastic straws are said to have a large impact on the environment, with Americans using approximately 500 million straws each day, according to a release from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, which temporarily ditched plastic straws as part of an Earth Day promotion this year.

In recent months, a growing number of eateries and cities across the United States have scrapped plastic straws. In July, Seattle enacted a ban on plastic straws and utensils, requiring...

Industry News & Opinion

Medford High School in Medford, Mass., is looking to add an orchard to its campus, Wicked Local reports.

The idea for the orchard was brought forth by students looking to help combat food insecurity. They are working with the school’s nutritionist to make the orchard a reality.

If planted, the orchard would be located inside the school’s courtyard and would grow fruits such as apples, paw paws, blueberries, peaches and plums. It would also include an outdoor classroom space.

The school committee signed off on the project last year; however, some administrators are...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code