Of all the restaurant management systems every independent uses daily, one is critical. If you're tired of chasing your management team for important information, tired of hearing them tell you they didn't know what you wanted or hearing a long laundry list of excuses why things didn't get done, you'll love this tip.
Here are seven reasons a manager log is a restaurant management system every independent must use daily.
I can remember way back when I was an assistant manager at Coyote Springs Brewing Company and Cafe in Phoenix, Ariz. I showed up in the morning to open the restaurant and went about getting the shift ready to go. By the time I got finished going through my opening manager checklist, I was about 30 minutes out from opening the doors, and I discovered that one of the toilets in the women's room was completely clogged from the night before.
You know that panicked feeling, right? When you know you're in trouble? All the things you have to get done during the day, you go through that checklist and do your very best to stay on track, but all of a sudden there's a surprise and that one thing can throw your whole day into a negative spiral. Well, this is one of those things.
So, what did I do? I called the plumber, but it was too late to get a plumber out there before we opened our doors. I should have known before I even left my apartment — or the moment I walked in the restaurant, for sure — that there was a problem.
Another time information was needed, I can remember calling up the restaurant from home because I needed to complete my bar schedule. As I did with a lot of the rookie managers, and just because I wanted to know information, I asked how sales were, who was behind the bar, and a few other typical questions. Do you know what that manager told me?
He said, “I don't know.” That was super frustrating.
My last example: Have you ever made a policy change and then asked your manager why they weren't following the new policy, and they say, "Oh, I didn't know. I've been off for the last two days."
Most of us expect a level of common sense that when something is out or needs to be fixed, someone will take care of it. But there is no such thing as common sense. Instead, I want to teach you the restaurant management system every independent must use daily: a manager log.
You can easily fix these issues with a manager log, either by paper or electronic. There are advantages to each, but I don't care which one you use.
Here are seven ways a manager log will help:
- It will help you hold your management team accountable. You know what's happened, whether you're in the building or not, especially if it's electronic. You can get an email every single night or review it in an app.
- It will help inform the team. Everybody knows about all the employee issues. If somebody got written up, or there was a harassment claim, or something happened throughout the building, everybody knows.
- Repairs don't get missed. Now, imagine that in that first example, if that night before I got a manager log, looked at my phone before I left my house, I could have called the plumber to have them meet me at the restaurant before I ever opened, being ahead of schedule, making sure that my shift, ran well.
- Policies and procedures, any changes that are made, are shared with everyone. Even if someone is off for two, three, four days, they come back and are in the loop.
- Everyone will know the numbers. They’ll have the cover count, sales, labor costs, etc. They’ll know if things are going well, or if they're going poorly. This is huge because when every manager walks in the building, everybody's on the same page.
- You will have a culture of communication. We all know we're supposed to share. We're supposed to keep everybody up to date.
- Everyone’s in the know. There will be no more “I don’t know.”
A manager log is a critical system. It helps keep everyone on the team on the same page. It changes how information flows in your business. Instead of chasing your managers down for information, they're chasing you. So, if you want to take your business to the next level and stop having all these crisis days that result from things getting missed, implement a manager log today.
David Scott Peters is an author, restaurant coach and speaker who teaches restaurant operators how to take control of their businesses.