Improving staff productivity

Have you considered all the factors that affect staff productivity? Here’s a guide.

Before your stakeholders, before you investors, even before your customers, comes your employees. Your employees are the wheels that make your restaurant run and ensuring that they are well trained and efficient may decide the fate of your restaurant.

An unmotivated staff is a recipe for disaster, so keeping them motivated on their jobs is crucial. Train them, incentivise your goals, and make your employees generally care about the state of your restaurant.

So, how do you hit the perfect sweet spot when it comes to balancing out employees? Well, here's a little guide. Depending on the size of the restaurant you own, the number of employees you have would also vary equally. If you have a big restaurant with a lot of floor space, you will have more waiters than cashiers. On certain days, such as days with bad weather, people don’t go into restaurants much. Mostly, they want to go home, order some great food from a great restaurant, and jump straight into bed. On days like this, you don’t need too many waiters since there aren’t a lot of people walking into your restaurant. Instead, focus on having a sizeable amount of delivery staff ready to start taking out orders the minute they get them. When it’s raining, online orders go up by 50%, which means you should expect double the amount of delivery you normally get, also its important to take into account your deliveries will take longer since its raining and your staff might not be able to go as fast, so doubling up on delivery staff is still a smart choice either accounting for increase of orders or an increase in delivery time.

Opposed to that, if it’s a nice Tuesday evening, people may choose to walk into your restaurant and have a meal there instead of ordering from home. On a day like this, it’s appropriate to have more waiters and to cut down on delivery people. This way, you can balance out employees to perfect mix.

But how do you know how many employees you will need morning, afternoon and evening? By using historical data, of course. Take a look at which point in the day is the busiest. Do you get more online traffic on Monday morning, or more in-store traffic? If there are just about no orders at 9 in the night, do you really need to keep two chefs around? If a customer was to start an order at seven in the afternoon, how much staff does it take to get that order from a couple of ingredients to the customer's hands? You need your kitchen staff and your delivery staff. But how much of their time goes into making the food and doing the delivery, and could you somehow make it more efficient?

As a partner of, you can always talk to your territory manager to get this information. We can tell you what your busiest days are, how many orders you take per hour, what the best combination of the hour and day (where you need to be prepared) is, from which area you receive most of your orders, etc... This information is crucial when optimizing your staff, since it will allow you to be more efficient in setting and arranging the work shifts, understanding how much personnel you need for a specific shift, and helps you identify delivery routes (maybe you need to assign a driver to a specific route, or maybe it’s more efficient if you hire 2 bicycle drivers for short routes and a motorcycle for longer routes).

Please note that I’m not telling you to rush your staff in an attempt to reduce the number of hours they work. If your kitchen staff is too rushed, they may end up compromising on quality, which is something you definitely don’t want. If you delivery staff is rushed, they may take a shortcut through that bumpy alleyway which ends up with the customer getting more pizza slices than he ordered! What I mean is, you need to calculate the amount of resources you need per order, then try to ensure that only the required resources are present, not more, not less. Just the perfect balance.

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