STAFF: How to Identify Your Restaurant's Superstar Employees for Advancement
Developing your superstar employees for advancement is an often-overlooked but essential part of running a restaurant. The labor pool in any typical restaurant is a diverse grab bag of talent. You have some decent employees who are there to do the job and contribute the minimum expected of them. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but these aren’t the “superstars” or “rockstars” you’re looking for. Here’s how to find & cultivate them.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Romaine Calm: FDA Looking for Changes
Since the latest E.coli contamination of romaine lettuce, the FDA is looking into new packaging labels to designate what romaine lettuce is safe to serve based on where it was grown. Based on cultivation/distribution cycles, the contaminated lettuce most likely came from California. The FDA hopes to have the new labels rolled out before the lettuce harvest in Arizona and Florida begin soon.
Times Far from Failing
When The New York Times announced its digital subscription model in March 2011, it was considered a bold move by many industry experts. The question was: would people really be willing to spend money on digital content that they were used to getting for free? As it turned out, the answer is yes. Seven and a half years after the introduction of its metered paywall, the Times has more than 2.5 million digital news subscribers accounting for 36% of the company’s subscription revenues in the first nine months of 2018.
No Mo Movember?
If you’re currently noticing an unusual number of men wearing mustaches, don’t worry! Despite the fact that every questionable fashion trend comes back eventually (mom jeans, I’m talking to you!), the return of mustaches is actually for the greater good. Movember is a charitable campaign initiated by the Australian Movember Foundation. Since 2004, it encourages men around the world to grow mustaches in November in order to raise awareness and donations for institutions that support men's health. But awareness and charity has dropped tremendously since the movement’s height in 2012.
CAN THEY TAKE YOU HIGHER [Song]
Why it matters to you: Make sure your candidates are ready for volume.
So often we discuss the challenges inherent to recruiting, interviewing and selecting candidates in our industry. The War for Talent has been raging for the past four years and it’s not likely to change soon. But what we don’t often hear is about finding an even more specific sub-set of candidates -- those that can work in a high-volume setting. Well, this excellent primer on interviewing and selecting candidates gives some solid insight. The three key characteristics to look for are likes to learn, can hit the ground running, and they see the whole restaurant not just their own station.
What the blog also offers are some interview questions that will help demonstrate the candidate fits into your high-volume operation. These aren’t the only responses, but they are a good place to start when determining if the candidate can handle the pressures experienced by your staff. But don’t stop at their ability to handle volume. Make sure you are asking questions that will confirm they are right for your team’s culture and are ready to be directed by a professional manager. Any of these characteristics not being present could spell disaster on a new hire and only increase the cost of turnover that so devastates restaurant operators everywhere.
SIZE MATTERS, SO ADD-ON
Why it matters to you: Are you missing revenue, by not adding on?
How big is your menu? The average menu, according to Technomic, is 130.7 items. This may sound high to many of you, but then this was a study of the top 500 restaurant chains. In general, chain operators take the more is more approach to menuing. The trends here seem to point to that number staying stable, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fluctuations by sub-categories. For example, the biggest loss in menu space since 2013 is for senior-focused items. They are down a whopping 14%. The best gains have been seen in kids’ menu and add-ons. In fact, add-ons have increased by almost 40% in the last five years.
This increase in add-ons might be a sales growth opportunity that you aren’t leveraging. These add-ons are incremental sales opportunities that guests just need to know about to consider. For example, adding chicken to a salad or guacamole to your quesadilla order are easy add-ons that enhance the guest experience and drive up their check. So, review your menu and see where you can include interesting add-ons to your menu that will entice guests to enjoy them. Whether it’s a fried egg on a cheeseburger or a skewer of shrimp on a salad, you are adding value to the guest’s experience, keeping your menu price perception under control and growing your checks. Nicely done.