STAFF: How to Overcome Language Barriers in Your Restaurant
On a global level, the restaurant industry relies heavily on foreign workers. For example, in the UK more than half of restaurant workers are from overseas, while in the US 25% of foodservice employees speaks a foreign language. The challenge here is that communication barriers can quickly appear when working with non-natives. These barriers can have an impact on everything from health & safety to productivity and guest satisfaction. Here are a few ways you can do that depending on where barriers occur.
DID YOU KNOWS…
KFC Goes Rudy
KFC has been passing around the white linen suit and facial hair to an array of celebs to become The Colonel. The latest is everyone’s favorite hobbit Sean Astin as Rudy Ruettiger in KFC’s Rudy II: He’s Colonel Sanders Now commercial spoof. Playing for Notre Dame wasn’t enough for Rudy, now he needs to make fried chicken.
Biggest Oil Producers
As the latest data from BP shows, Saudi Arabia is the second-largest producer of oil in the world, accounting for 13% of all production in 2018. On top of that, the country is the largest exporter of crude oil. However, the crude oil production of Saudi Arabia has weakened over the past year, dropping from 11 million barrels per day to just under 10 million; exporting has dropped from 8.2 million to just under 7 million barrels per day.
9K Breweries in the US!?
According to the Brewers Association (BA), the number of US breweries is forecast to hit 9,200 over the next two years. Currently there’s more than 7,600 breweries in the US. BA predicts that most of these breweries would be relatively local “mom and pop” enterprises, keeping their batches their general area and not necessarily nation-wide. Sounds like a win for beer lovers.
DON’T MAKE ME SICK
Why it matters to you: Are you doing enough to inform your guests of the allergens included in your menu?
If you have never had someone in your life with a serious allergy, then you may not understand the risks they face every day. Take the young man that died in England after consuming dairy he was not made aware of in a dish he was served by a British burger chain Byron. The victim, Owen Carey, had made clear to his server that he had a dairy allergy and was assured that his chicken burger was dairy free. Unfortunately for Carey that wasn’t true, and he was dead hours later from the buttermilk marinade used to prepare that burger.
Carey did everything right. This is a tragedy of epic proportions, because of the total failure of the restaurant to protect its guests by properly training their staff about potential allergens. If only this restaurant had followed the lead of chef’s like Ming Tsai and kept a specific log of potential allergens so staff could have a ready resource to identify them and to ensure guests could dine with confidence. Carey’s family is now calling for a national law requiring restaurants to list potential allergens on their menu for guests to access prior to ordering. This failure on the part of this operators now has the potential to create legislation that would further regulate our industry.
Frankly, this story should make it difficult for any of us to deny the value of protecting guests from a lazy effort by a restaurant when it comes to allergen safety. Here again, we point to the work of Ming Tsai to create a resource that eliminates this variable. Now, things that happen in the UK aren’t necessarily precursors to regulation here, but we beseech you to learn from Byron Burger’s mistake and create your own resource that enumerates the allergens present in every dish on your menu. Then make that document an integral part of your training program for servers, bartenders and hosts. The only thing you have to lose is hurting the very people you rely on for your livelihood.
WHERE DO WE GO NOW?
Why it matters to you: How to determine what your next restaurant investment should be.
With so many trends and technologies emerging for restaurant operators, you can feel horrible inertia as pertains to choosing what’s next for your business. That’s why this post describing what restaurant investments are worth exploring is a great place to start your analysis. The best place to engage this review is by wondering what your target guest wants from your restaurant. Begin by asking your guests what they want. Yes, that’s a little oversimplified, but is still a worthy effort. Whether you use email surveys, ask guests directly as they visit, or even your menu mix, determining what your guests want from your business needs to be crucial factor in your decision. Give them multiple choices: delivery, catering, new entertainment, outdoor dining, etc. Once you have that information then you can act accordingly.
Take Chef Lamar Moore who reviewed his happy hour sales mix and saw that burgers were the most ordered items. This prompted Moore to hire a line cook that formerly worked at Shake Shack. Moore’s rationale is that in order to improve his happy hour performance he would invest in a cook that had specific experience that he and his team lacked. While not a traditional view on investment, nevertheless it demonstrates the process of listening to your guests’ feedback from where it comes and then acting to implement an approach that delivers on it. If you are struggling with what to do next, then follow this same paradigm and you are bound to get the clarity to avoid a direction that will ultimately benefit neither your guest nor you.
[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]