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Top 3 Productivity Leaks In Restaurants & How To Stop Them


Owning a restaurant is the dream of many, and once you’ve done it, it can feel like smooth sailing. However, unexpected issues can pop up seemingly at the drop of a hat, especially productivity leaks. With 86% of restaurant operators reporting lower profit margins, it’s important to look for ways to cut back on costs. Productivity leaks may only take a small amount of a shift’s time; however, they can build up fast, costing you thousands of dollars each year. Read on to learn more about the top three productivity leaks in the restaurant industry and how you can stop them.



1. Outdated Methods of Cash Handling

Managers spend a lot of time handling cash. As a restaurant owner, you’re paying for that time that could be spent on more valuable pursuits, like customer satisfaction, staff training and team building which leads to staff retention. In addition, this time can be better spent focusing on food quality and preparation. Cash handling is a definite requirement for the restaurant business; however, a more streamlined process is required for those looking to make their restaurant more productive.


The most obvious way to improve cash management is to reduce manual handling of cash and implementing an automated cash solution. From point of acceptance through to the bank deposit, cash can be handled multiple times by multiple staff, putting a strain on resources and moving their focus away from customer service and revenue generation. From bill and coin counting and deposit solutions to remote deposits for checks, automated cash solutions can save several hours each day.



Old and out-of-date equipment is more prone to error which leads to managers spending more time than needed. Current and up to date equipment is integral to running a restaurant well, and in many cases can improve security and controls required to handle cash efficiently. Directing the time saved from inefficient cash handling processes towards more customer focused activities, will pay dividends.



2. Pen-and-Paper Methods

We all remember the days when people used to write down customer orders on a pad before hurriedly running to the kitchen to get the order in. Of course, this method causes more than a few issues. From using improper codes to having illegible handwriting, most restaurants that use the old method face a regular amount of loss strictly because these notes are handwritten.


Another major issue? Orders not getting put in quickly when a restaurant is slammed. In some cases, customers may end up leaving simply because they never got their service while others may request a discount. By switching to an automated service, restaurant owners can ensure all orders are put in instantly and chefs know exactly what to prepare and how. This leads to higher amounts of customer satisfaction, reduced costs for losses and service workers spending less time per order.


3. Lack of Communication

At the end of the day, a lot of restaurants suffer from communication issues which can lead to more stress in the workplace and confrontations. Restaurants are busy, and it’s easy for communication among staff to fall by the wayside. Expecting new hires to know all the rules of the restaurant after they’re hired is frequently an issue; when, in fact, without proper training and regular communicating, many service workers simply don’t know what’s expected of them and end up quitting.


This is easily rectified by regularly meeting with employees to hear their concerns. Find out why they’re struggling to communicate and look for ways to make communication between staff members more feasible. Remember that constructive feedback is welcome by most employees, so take the time to point out ways they can improve their productivity and see what they think you can do to make your restaurant run smoother as well.


Know that a disengaged employee is one that is looking for a change in employment as quickly as possible. Keeping an employee engaged is best achieved through regular feedback. An engaged employee performs better and is more productive. Taking these steps will also help to prevent conflicts born out of frustration, lack of satisfaction from their position and poor communication. Finally, look for ways to connect with employees in a less stressful environment, such as throwing a monthly dinner or a weekly team-building exercise.


Restaurants can be a rewarding career choice; however, it’s important to realize that they are the perfect environment for productivity leaks.


To save yourself several hours a week, retain employees and reduce labor costs; take the time to invest in smart cash handling solutions, eradicate pen-and-paper methods and look to communicate with your employees as well as having them talk to one another.


By following these tips, you’ll see your productivity rates rise in no time!

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