Terrible staff attract a lot of [unwanted] attention!
Only a fool would purchase a million dollar race horse and then hire a fat, washed up jockey to race it. So why do so many business owners invest countless dollars into building restaurants and then employ miserable jerks as hosts, bartenders or servers!?
A client called the other day and asked what they should do about the horrific feedback there are getting on YELP. While on the phone with him I reviewed the comments posted by angry (former) customers and replied, “FIRE the knuckleheads that work for you who are offending your customers!”
Honestly, no training program, pep talk or team building exercise is going to transform a person who HATES their job into being a “A Player” who thrives to deliver happiness 300 times a night, 5 days a week. Like they say, you can’t polish a turd!
I know… YES, they seemed very sweet at the interview. YES, you have invested months of time into them. And, YES it causes short term pain and uncertainty to “free up someone’s future”. But in most cases it is the only choice, so get over it, and get it done!
Have you ever wondered how the top restaurants in your city manage to employ all of those great staff…you know, the venues that are FULL on a Tuesday night?!
They do 2 things that most restaurants simply DON’T DO: 1. RECRUIT (find GREAT people); and 2. TRAIN (I mean a real induction, not just a couple of shadow shifts).
#1. RECRUITMENT: You encounter A-Players every week (if you are looking for them) working at the grocery store, the woman that lives five doors down or even at your bank (a client recently hired his bank manager as his restaurant AGM). Top restaurant owners approach these folks, offer them a career in our industry (“no experience needed – WE TRAIN”) and to their surprise, many jump at the chance and opportunity. Business cards are cheap and recruitment needs to be a DAILY FOCUS if you wish to find the best operators in our industry.
#2. TRAINING: In a transient industry like ours, YOU MUST employ a manager who loves to train and is good at it (hint: bring one in from another industry). Don’t be afraid to cut staff after 2 weeks if they don’t have what it takes. Employ people who will invest 8 weeks learning “YOUR WAY to do business”.
I know this is harder than it sounds but it is a hell of a lot easier than devising a plan to stop the army of angry amateur restaurant critics that now have a HUGE voice on social media sites.
The restaurant business has changed – it got tougher. Have you?
In your corner,