This guest post is contributed by Upserve.
Every restaurant has a front-of-house (FOH) and a back-of-house (BOH) staff. And every restaurant experiences the typical struggles of the all-too-common anxiety that can arise when the FOH and BOH are not aligned.
Communication between front-of-house staff and back-of-house staff is essential to a successful night in the restaurant. While there’s rarely room for error during a busy shift, we all know that issues tend to arise anyway. And in the heat of the moment, tension between FOH and BOH are often the causes of those issues. But the bottom line is this: FOH and BOH unity determines the quality of service. Smart restaurant owners and managers know this, and make conscious efforts to unify both sides.
Tactics to unify FOH and BOH
Understanding the differences between how the FOH and BOH function is step one. But there is more than meets the eye. A well-trained restaurant staff will understand the realities of their team members’ jobs, and will also make conscious efforts to work together and communicate well.
Here are three tactics to build into your restaurant staff training:
1. Avoid send backs
- Have daily tastings of menu items and daily specials before the service so questions can be answered with first-hand knowledge.
- Use a chalkboard or whiteboard to list ingredients the kitchen staff is using in specials. This prepares the staff for any questions about allergies later.
2. Train the FOH staff on how to handle dissatisfied guests
- Should the server notify a manager or go to the chef? Knowing who to communicate with is as important as knowing how to communicate.
- Encourage your kitchen manager or executive chef to be present in kitchen, but on the same token, discourage servers from hanging out back there and slowing things down.
3. Implement training best practices on both ends
- You have training for your servers and your kitchen staff. Make sure you implement some best practices that enable each side to see the other’s point-of-view in that training. One of the best ways to do this is to empower your staff to walk through key successes and breakdowns.
Staff training only goes so far, however. And it’s become all too common to see service and efficiency disrupted by communication problems. Restaurateurs need an everyday solution, and luckily, you don’t need another piece of restaurant technology: your restaurant point of sale system can enhance your staff communication and unite your FOH and BOH.
3 ways your restaurant POS can enhance communication
It’s estimated that by 2023, the mobile POS market will be valued at $48.77 billion. This is great news for your staff communication for three reasons: faster service, less room for error, and happier guests.
1. Your restaurant POS can enhance staff communication with faster service.
Nowadays, restaurant POS systems come with built-in shift notes and logbooks that can accurately track the time needed to take, prepare, complete and deliver orders, plus it’ll track staff feedback on the entire process. No more asking “how long” five times.
2. Your restaurant POS can enhance staff communication with more efficiency.
A more efficient way to take orders means there’s less room for error. Your POS software should allow for inventory and menu specials to be updated in real time, so management can update menus, adjust specials and adapt to rush hours effortlessly. Your guests know exactly what’s available, and your kitchen isn’t angry when you’re putting in tickets for something that’s been 86’d.
3. Your restaurant POS can enhance communication with less room for error.
Say goodbye to messy, (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten orders. They only delay the understanding needed for food to be prepared accurately, and lead to “the blame game” when the guest sends their food back for being prepared incorrectly. An POS system with a built-in kitchen display system that sends orders right from the point-of-sale to the kitchen can make order management easier and kitchen efficiency simpler.
Unifying your staff and streamlining your communication is no easy task. Isn’t it time your restaurant POS did some of that work for you?